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The  Story  of  a  Young  Man 







COPYRIGHT,  1922,  BY 

All  Rights  Reserved 





II    THE  WISDOM   OF  YOUTH     ....  15 


IV  THE  ETERNAL   FEMININE     ....  34 


VII    PARIS  AGAIN    .     .     ......  130 

TAINED        162 


X    A  PLEASANT  LITTLE  DINNER     .      .      .  260 

XI    A  DUEL 277 







XV    LOUISE    Is    DISILLUSIONED    ....  80 





XX    WHEN  A  MAN'S  FORTY  .                      .  203 




IN  front  of  the  Quai  St.  Bernard,  the  Ville  de  Mon- 
tereau,  which  was  just  about  to  start,  was  puffing 
great  whirlwinds  of  smoke.  It  was  six  o'clock  on 
the  morning  of  the  I5th  of  September,  1840. 

People  rushed  on  board  the  vessel  in  frantic  haste. 
The  traffic  was  obstructed  by  casks,  cables,  and  baskets 
of  linen.  The  sailors  answered  no  questions.  People 
jostled  one  another.  Between  the  two  paddle-boxes 
was  a  heap  of  parcels ;  the  clamour  was  drowned  in 
the  loud  hissing  of  the  steam,  which,  making  its  way 
through  the  plates  of  sheet-iron,  encompassed  every- 
thing in  a  white  mist,  while  the  bell  at  the  prow  kept 
continuously  ringing. 

At  last,  the  vessel  drew  away ;  and  the  banks  of  the 
river,  crowded  with  warehouses,  timber-yards,  and 
manufactories,  opened  out  like  two  huge  ribbons  being 

A  young  man  about  eighteen,  with  long  hair,  hold- 
ing an  album  under  his  arm,  stood  motionless  near  the 
helm.  Penetrating  the  haze,  he  could  see  steeples, 
buildings  of  which  he  did  not  know  the  names ;  then, 
with  a  farewell  glance,  he  observed  the  He  St.  Louis, 
the  Cite,  and  Notre  Dame.  As  Paris  faded  from  view 
he  heaved  a  deep  sigh. 


Frederick  Moreau  had  just  taken  his  Bachelor's  de- 
gree, and  was  returning  home  to  Nogent-sur-Seine, 
where  he  would  have  to  lead  a  monotonous  existence 
for  two  months,  before  going  back  to  begin  his  legal 
studies.  His  mother  had  sent  him,  with  enough  money 
to  cover  his  expenses,  to  Havre  to  see  an  uncle,  from 
whom  she  had  expectations  of  his  receiving  an  inherit- 
ance. He  had  returned  from  there  only  yesterday; 
and  he  consoled  himself  for  not  having  been  able  to 
spend  a  little  time  in  the  capital  by  taking  the  longest 
possible  though  less  convenient  route  to  reach  his 
own  part  of  the  country. 

The  uproar  had  subsided.  The  passengers  were  all 
taking  their  places.  Some  of  them  stood  warming 
themselves  around  the  machinery,  and  the  chimney 
spat  forth  with  a  slow,  rhythmic  rattle  its  plume  of 
black  smoke.  Drops  of  dew  glistened  on  the  copper 
plates;  the  deck  quivered  with  the  vibration  from 
within;  and  the  two  paddle-wheels,  rapidly  turning, 
lashed  the  water.  The  river  edges  were  covered  with 
sand.  The  vessel  swept  past  rafts  of  wood  which  os- 
cillated under  the  rippling  of  the  waves,  or  a  boat  with- 
out sails  in  which  a  man  sat  fishing.  Then  the  drift- 
ing haze  cleared ;  the  sun  appeared ;  the  hill  which 
had  been  visible  on  the  right  of  the  Seine  subsided 
by  degrees,  and  another  rose  nearer  on  the  opposite 

Frederick  was  thinking  about  the  apartment  which 
he  would  occupy  over  there,  on  the  plan  of  a  drama, 
on  subjects  for  pictures,  on  future  passions.  He  was 
beginning  to  find  that  the  happiness  merited  by  the 
excellence  of  his  soul  was  slow  in  arriving.  He 
declaimed  some  melancholy  verses  as  he  walked 
rapidly  along  the  deck  till  he  reached  the  end  at 
which  the  bell  was.  In  the  centre  of  a  group  of  pas- 


sengers  and  sailors  he  saw  a  gentleman  talking  soft 
nothings  to  a  country-woman,  while  fingering  the 
gold  cross  which  she  wore  over  her  breast.  He  was 
a  jovial  blade  of  forty,  with  frizzled  hair.  He  wore 
a  jacket  of  black  velvet,  two  emeralds  sparkled  in  his 
cambric  shirt,  and  his  wide,  white  trousers  fell  over 
odd-looking  red  boots  of  Russia  leather  ornamented 
with  blue  designs. 

The  presence  of  Fredrick  did  not  discompose  him. 
He  turned  round  and  glanced  several  times  at  the  young 
man  with  winks  of  inquiry.  He  next  offered  cigars 
to  all  who  were  standing  near  him.  But,  apparently 
getting  tired  of  their  society,  he  moved  away  and  took 
a  seat  further  up.  Frederick  followed  him. 

The  conversation,  at  first,  was  on  the  various  kinds 
of  tobacco,  then  quite  naturally  it  turned  into  a  dis- 
cussion about  women.  The  gentleman  in  the  red 
boots  gave  the  younger  man  advice;  he  put  forward 
theories,  related  anecdotes,  referred  to  himself  by 
way  of  illustration,  and  he  gave  utterance  to  all  these 
things  in  a  paternal  tone,  with  the  ingenuousness  of 
entertaining  depravity. 

He  was  republican  in  his  opinions.  He  had  trav- 
elled ;  was  familiar  with  the  inner  life  of  theatres, 
restaurants,  and  newspapers,  and  knew  all  the  theat- 
rical celebrities,  whom  he  spoke  of  by  their  first 
names.  Frederick  told  him  confidentially  about  his 
projects;  and  the  elder  man  took  an  encouraging 
view  of  them. 

He  stopped  talking  a  moment  to  take  a  look  at  the 
funnel,  then  he  mumbled  rapidly  a  long  calculation 
in  order  to  ascertain  "  how  much  each  stroke  of  the 
piston  at  so  many  times  per  minute  would  come  to," 
etc.,  and,  having  found  the  number,  he  spoke  about 
the  scenery,  which  he  admired  immensely.  Then  he 


expressed  his  delight  at  having  got  away  from  busi- 

Frederick  regarded  him  with  a  certain  amount  of 
respect,  and  politely  intimated  a  desire  to  know  his 
name.  The  stranger,  without  a  moment's  hesitation, 
replied : 

"Jacques  Arnoux,  proprietor  of  L'Art  Industriel, 
Boulevard  Montmartre." 

A  man-servant  in  a  gold-laced  cap  came  up  and  said : 

"  Would  Monsieur  have  the  kindness  to  go  below  ? 
Mademoiselle  is  crying." 

L'Art  Industriel  was  a  hybrid  establishment, 
wherein  the  functions  of  an  art  journal  and  a  picture- 
shop  were  combined.  Frederick  remembered  seeing 
this  title  several  times  in  the  bookseller's  window  in 
his  native  place  on  bi-g  prospectuses,  on  which  the 
name  of  Jacques  Arnoux  displayed  itself  magis- 

The  sun's  rays  fell  perpendicularly,  shedding  a 
glittering  light  on  the  iron  hoops  around  the  masts, 
the  plates  of  the  barricades,  and  the  surface  of  the 
water,  which,  at  the  prow,  was  cut  into  two  furrows 
that  spread  out  as  far  as  the  borders  of  the  meadows. 
At  each  curve  of  the  river,  a  screen  of  pale  poplars 
presented  itself  with  the  utmost  uniformity.  The 
surrounding  country  at  this  point  had  an  empty  look. 
In  the  sky  were  little  white  clouds  which  remained 
motionless,  and  the  sense  of  weariness,  which  vaguely 
diffused  itself  over  everything,  seemed  to  retard  the 
progress  of  the  steamboat  and  to  add  to  the  insignifi- 
cant appearance  of  the  passengers.  With  the  excep- 
tion of  a  few  persons  of  good  position  who  were 
travelling  first  class,  they  consisted  of  artisans  or 
shopmen  with  their  wives  and  children.  It  was  cus- 
tomary at  that  time  to  wear  old  clothes  when  trav- 


elling,  so  nearly  all  had  their  heads  covered  with 
shabby  Greek  caps  or  discoloured  hats,  and  wore  thin 
black  coats  that  had  become  threadbare  from  constant 
rubbing  against  writing-desks,  or  frock-coats  with 
the  casings  of  their  buttons  loose  from  continual  ser- 
vice in  the  shop.  Here  and  there  some  roll-collar 
waistcoat  afforded  a  glimpse  of  a  coffee-stained  calico 
shirt.  Pinchbeck  pins  were  stuck  into  torn  cravats. 
List  shoes  were  kept  up  by  stitched  straps. 

Frederick,  in  order  to  get  back  to  his  place,  pushed 
against  the  grating  leading  into  the  part  of  the  ves- 
sel reserved  for  first-class  passengers,  and  in  so  doing 
disturbed  two  sportsmen  with  their  dogs. 

What  he  then  saw  was  like  a  vision.  She  was 
seated  in  the  middle  of  a  bench  all  alone,  or,  at  least 
it  appeared  so  to  him;  he  could  see  no  one  else, 
dazzled  as  he  was  by  her  eyes.  At  the  moment  when 
he  was  passing,  she  raised  her  head;  his  shoulders 
bent  involuntarily ;  and,  when  he  had  seated  himself, 
some  little  distance  away,  on  the  same  side,  he 
glanced  toward  her. 

She  wore  a  wide  straw  hat,  the  red  ribbons  of  which 
fluttered  in  the  wind  behind  her.  Her  black  tresses, 
braided  around  the  top  of  her  large  forehead,  descended 
very  low  near  her  cheeks,  and  seemed  amorously  to 
press  the  oval  of  her  face.  Her  robe  of  muslin  spotted 
with  green  spread  out  in  ample  folds.  She  was  em- 
broidering something;  and  her  straight  nose,  her 
rounded  chin,  her  entire  person  was  outlined  on 
the  background  of  the  luminous  air  and  the  blue  sky. 

As  she  maintained  the  same  attitude,  he  took  sev- 
eral turns  to  the  right  and  to  the  left,  hiding  from 
her  his  change  of  position;  then  he  placed  himself 
close  to  her  parasol,  which  lay  against  the  bench,  and 
pretended  to  be  looking  at  a  sloop  on  the  river. 


Never  before  had  he  seen  such  a  lustrous  dark  skin, 
such  a  seductive  figure,  or  more  delicately  shaped 
fingers  than  those  through  which  the  sunlight 
gleamed.  He  gazed  with  amazement  at  her  work- 
basket,  as  if  it  were  something  unusual.  What  was 
her  name,  her  place  of  residence,  her  life,  her  past? 
He  longed  to  become  familiar  with  the  furnishings 
of  her  apartment,  with  the  dresses  that  she  had  worn, 
with  the  people  whom  she  visited ;  and  the  desire  of 
physical  possession  yielded  to  a  deeper  yearning,  a 
painful  and  boundless  curiosity. 

A  negress,  wearing  a  silk  handkerchief  tied  round 
her  head,  appeared,  holding  by  the  hand  a  little  girl 
already  tall  for  her  age.  The  child,  whose  eyes  were 
swimming  in  tears,  had  just  awakened.  The  lady 
took  the  little  one  on  her  knees.  "  Mademoiselle  was 
not  good,  though  she  would  soon  be  seven ;  her 
mother  would  not  love  her  any  more.  She  was  too 
often  forgiven  for  being  naughty."  And  Frederick 
heard  those  things  with  delight,  as  if  he  had  made  a 
discovery,  an  acquisition. 

He  concluded  that  she  must  be  of  Andalusian  de- 
scent, perhaps  a  Creole:  had  she  brought  this  negress 
with  her  from  the  West  Indian  Islands? 

Meanwhile  his  attention  was  directed  to  a  long 
shawl  with  violet  stripes  thrown  behind  her  over  the 
copper  support  of  the  bench.  She  must  have,  many  a 
time,  wrapped  it  around  her,  as  the  vessel  sped 
through  the  waves;  drawn  it  over  her  feet,  gone  to 
sleep  in  it ! 

Frederick  suddenly  noticed  that  with  the  sweep  of 
its  fringes  it  was  slipping  off,  and  on  the  point  of 
falling  into  the  water;  with  a  bound  he  caught  it. 
She  said: 

"  Thank  you,  Monsieur." 


Their  eyes  met. 

"  Are  you  ready,  my  dear  ?  "  cried  my  lord  Arnoux, 
presenting  himself  at  the  hood  of  the  companion- 

Mademoiselle  Marthe  ran  over  to  him,  and,  cling- 
ing to  his  neck,  she  began  pulling  at  his  moustache. 
The  strains  of  a  harp  were  heard — she  wanted  to  see 
the  music  played;  and  presently  the  performer  on  the 
instrument,  at  the  request  of  the  negress,  entered  the 
place  reserved  for  saloon  passengers.  Arnoux  recog- 
nised in  him  a  man  who  had  formerly  been  a  model, 
and  "  thou'd "  him,  to  the  astonishment  of  the  by- 
standers. At  length  the  harpist,  flinging  back  his 
long  hair,  stretched  out  his  hands  and  began  playing. 

It  was  an  Oriental  ballad  all  about  poniards,  flow- 
ers, and  stars.  The  man  in  rags  sang  it  in  a  sharp 
voice ;  the  twanging  of  the  harp-strings  broke  the 
harmony  of  the  tune  with  false  notes.  He  played 
more  vigorously:  the  chords  vibrated,  and  their  me- 
tallic sounds  seemed  to  emit  sobs,  and,  as  it  were, 
the  plaint  of  a  proud  and  vanquished  love.  On  both 
sides  of  the  river,  woods  reached  down  to  the  edge 
of  the  water.  A  current  of  fresh  air  swept  past,  and 
Madame  Arnoux  gazed  vaguely  into  the  distance. 
When  the  music  stopped,  she  moved  her  eyes  as  if 
she  were  starting  out  of  a  dream. 

The  harpist  approached  them  with  an  air  of  hu- 
mility. While  Arnoux  was  searching  his  pockets  for 
money,  Frederick  stretched  out  toward  the  cap  his 
closed  hand,  and  then,  opening  it  in  a  shamefaced 
manner,  he  deposited  in  the  cap  a  louis  d'or.  It  was 
not  vanity  that  had  prompted  him  to  bestow  this  alms 
in  her  presence,  but  the  hope  of  a  blessing  in  which 
he  felt  she  might  share — an  almost  religious  impulse 
of  the  heart. 


Arnoux,  leading  the  way,  cordially  invited  him  to 
go  below.  Frederick  replied  that  he  had  just  lunched; 
on  the  contrary,  he  was  nearly  dying  of  hunger;  but 
he  had  not  a  single  centime  in  his  purse. 

After  that,  it  seemed  to  him  that  he  had  as  much 
right  as  anyone  else  to  remain  in  the  cabin. 

Ladies  and  gentlemen  were  seated  before  round 
tables,  lunching,  while  an  attendant  went  about  serv- 
ing coffee.  Monsieur  and  Madame  Arnoux  were  in 
the  extreme  right-hand  corner.  He  seated  himself 
on  the  long  bench  covered  with  velvet,  picking  up  a 
newspaper  which  he  found  there. 

They  would  have  to  take  the  diligence  at  Monte- 
reau  for  Chalons.  Their  tour  in  Switzerland  would 
last  a  month.  Madame  Arnoux  blamed  her  husband 
for  his  weakness  with  the  child.  He  whispered  in 
her  ear;  it  was  evidently  something  agreeable,  for 
she  smiled.  Then  he  rose  to  draw  down  the  window 
curtain  at  her  back.  Under  the  low,  white  ceiling,  a 
crude  light  filled  the  cabin.  Frederick,  sitting  oppo- 
site, could  distinguish  the  shadow  made  by  her  eye- 
lashes. She  just  moistened  her  lips  at  her  glass  and 
broke  a  little  piece  of  crust  between  her  fingers.  The 
lapis-lazuli  locket  fastened  by  a  gold  chain  to  her 
*vrist  made  a  ringing  sound,  every  now  and  then,  as 
it  touched  her  plate.  Those  present,  however,  did 
not  appear  to  notice  it. 

At  intervals  one  could  see,  through  the  port-holes, 
the  side  of  a  boat  which  was  taking  away  passengers 
or  putting  them  on  board.  Those  who  sat  round  the 
tables  looked  through  the  openings,  and  called  out 
the  names  of  the  various  places  they  passed  along  the 

Arnoux  complained  of  the  cooking.  He  grumbled 
particularly  at  the  amount  of  the  bill,  and  had  it  re- 


duced.  Then  he  carried  off  the  young  man  toward 
the  forecastle  to  drink  a  glass  of  grog  with  him. 
But  Frederick  speedily  returned  to  gaze  at  Madame 
Arnoux,  who  had  gone  back  to  her  seat  under  the 
awning.  She  was  reading  a  thin,  grey-covered  vol- 
ume. From  time  to  time  the  corners  of  her  mouth 
curled  and  a  gleam  of  pleasure  lighted  up  her  face. 
He  felt  jealous  of  the  author  of  a  book  which  ap- 
peared to  interest  her  so  much.  The  more  he  con- 
templated her,  the  more  he  felt  that  there  were  yawn- 
ing abysses  between  them.  He  was  reflecting  that  he 
should  very  soon  lose  sight  of  her  irrevocably,  and 
without  having  extracted  a  few  words  from  her, 
without  leaving  her  even  a  souvenir! 

On  the  right,  a  plain  was  visible.  On  the  left,  a 
strip  of  pasture-land  rose  gently  to  meet  a  hillock 
where  one  could  see  vineyards,  groups  of  walnut- 
trees,  a  mill  embedded  in  the  grassy  slopes,  and,  be- 
yond that,  little  zigzag  paths  over  a  white  mass  of 
rocks  that  reached  up  toward  the  clouds.  What 
bliss  it  would  have  been  to  ascend  side  by  side  with 
her,  his  arm  around  her  waist,  as  her  gown  swept 
the  yellow  leaves,  listening  to  her  voice  and  gazing 
into  her  glowing  eyes !  The  steamboat  might  stop, 
and  all  they  would  have  to  do  would  be  to  step  right 
out;  and  yet  this  thing,  simple  as  it  seemed,  was  not 
less  difficult  than  it  would  have  been  to  alter  the 
course  of  the  sun. 

The  little  girl  kept  skipping  playfully  around  the 
place  where  he  had  stationed  himself  on  the  deck. 
Frederick  tried  to  kiss  her.  She  hid  herself  behind 
her  nurse.  Her  mother  scolded  her  for  not  being 
nice  to  the  gentleman  who  had  rescued  her  own 
shawl.  Was  this  an  indirect  overture? 

"  Is  she  going  to  speak  to  me?  "  he  asked  himself. 


Time  was  flying.  How  was  he  to  get  an  invitation 
to  the  Arnoux's  house?  And  he  could  think  of  noth- 
ing better  than  to  draw  her  attention  to  the  autumnal 
hues,  adding: 

"  We  are  approaching  winter — the  season  of  balls 
and  dinner-parties." 

But  Arnoux  was  entirely  occupied  with  his  lug- 
gage. They  had  arrived  at  the  river's  bank  facing 
Surville.  The  two  bridges  drew  nearer.  They 
passed  a  rope  walk,  then  a  range  of  low-built  houses, 
inside  which  there  were  pots  of  tar  and  splinters  of 
wood ;  and  children  ran  along  the  sand  turning  head 
over  heels.  Frederick  recognised  a  man  with  a 
sleeved  .waistcoat,  and  called  out  to  him: 

"  Make  haste." 

They  were  at  the  landing-place.  He  looked  around 
anxiously  for  Arnoux  amongst  the  crowd  of  passen- 
gers, and  presently  the  other  came  and  shook  hands 
with  him,  saying: 

"  A  pleasant  time,  Monsieur !  " 

When  he  was  on  the  quay,  Frederick  looked  back. 
She  was  standing  beside  the  helm.  He  cast  a  look 
toward  her  into  which  he  tried  to  put  his  whole  soul. 
She  remained  motionless,  as  if  nothing  had  hap- 
pened. Then,  without  paying  the  slightest  attention 
to  the  obeisances  of  his  manservant: 

"  Why  is  not  the  trap  here  ?  " 

The  man  made  excuses. 

"  Clumsy  fellow !     Give  me  some  money." 

And  after  that  he  went  off  to  get  something  to  eat 
at  an  inn. 

A  quarter  of  an  hour  later,  he  felt  an  inclination  to 
turn  into  the  coachyard,  as  if  by  chance.  He  might 
see  her  again. 

"  What's  the  use?  "  he  said  to  himself. 


The  vehicle  carried  him  off.  The  two  horses  did 
not  belong  to  his  mother.  She  had  borrowed  one 
from  M.  Chambrion,  the  tax-collector.  Isidore,  hav- 
ing set  forth  the  day  before,  had  taken  a  rest  at  Bray 
until  evening,  and  had  slept  at  Montereau,  so  that 
the  animals,  with  restored  vigour,  were  trotting 

Fields  on  which  the  crops  had  been  cut  stretched 
out  in  apparently  endless  succession ;  and  by  degrees 
Villeneuve,  St.  Georges,  Ablon,  Chatillon,  Corbeil, 
and  the  other  places — his  entire  journey — came  back 
to  his  mind  with  such  vividness  that  he  could  recall 
fresh  details,  more  intimate  particulars. 
Under  the  lowest  flounce  of  her  gown,  her  foot 
showed  itself  encased  in  a  dainty  silk  boot  of  ma- 
roon shade.  The  awning  made  of  ticking  formed  a 
wide  canopy  over  her  head,  and  the  little  red  tassels 
of  the  edging  kept  trembling  in  the  breeze. 

She  resembled  the  women  of  whom  he  had  read 
in  romances.  Nothing  could  be  added  to  the  charms 
of  her  person,  and  nothing  could  be  taken  from  them. 
The  universe  had  suddenly  enlarged.  She  was  the 
luminous  point  toward  which  all  things  converged ;  and, 
lulled  by  the  movement  of  the  vehicle,  with  half-closed 
eyes,  and  his  face  turned  toward  the  clouds,  he  aban- 
doned himself  to  a  dreamy,  infinite  joy. 

At  Bray,  he  did  not  wait  till  the  horses  had  got 
their  oats ;  he  walked  on  along  the  road  by  himself. 
Arnoux  addressed  her  as  "  Marie."  He  now  loudly 
repeated  the  name  "  Marie ! "  His  voice  pierced  the 
air  and  was  lost  in  the  distance. 

The  sky  toward  the  west  was  one  great  mass  of 
flaming  purple.  Huge  stacks  of  wheat,  rising  up  in 
the  midst  of  the  stubble  fields,  threw  giant  shadows. 
A  dog  barked  in  a  distant  farm-house.  He  shivered, 


seized   with   disquietude   for   which   he    could   assign 
no  cause. 

When  Isidore  came  up  with  him,  he  jumped  into 
the  front  seat  to  drive.  His  fit  of  weakness  was  over. 
He  had  thoroughly  made  up  his  mind  to  effect  an  in- 
troduction into  the  house  of  the  Arnoux,  and  to  be- 
come intimate  with  them.  Their  house  should  be 
entertaining ;  besides,  he  liked  Arnoux ;  then — you 
never  can  tell !  Thereupon  a  wave  of  blood  rushed 
up  to  his  face ;  his  temples  throbbed ;  he  cracked  his 
whip,  shook  the  reins,  and  set  the  horses  going  at  such 
a  pace  that  the  old  coachman  repeatedly  exclaimed : 
"  Easy !  easy  now,  or  they'll  get  broken-winded !  " 
Gradually  Frederick  calmed  down,  and  he  attended 
to  what  the  man  was  saying.  Monsieur's  return  was 
impatiently  awaited.  Mademoiselle  Louise  had  cried 
to  go  in  the  trap  to  meet  him* 

"  Who,  pray,  is  Mademoiselle  Louise  ?  " 
"  Monsieur  Roque's  little  girl,  you  know." 
"  Ah,  yes !     I  had   forgotten,"   rejoined   Frederick 

Meanwhile,  the  two  horses  could  keep  up  the  fu- 
rious pace  no  longer.  They  were  both  getting  lame; 
nine  o'clock  struck  at  St.  Laurent's  when  he  arrived 
at  the  parade  in  front  of  his  mother's  house. 

This  large  house,  with  a  garden  looking  out  on  the 
open  country,  conferred  additional  social  importance 
on  Madame  Moreau,  who  was  the  most  respected 
lady  in  the  district. 

She  had  descended  from  an  old  family  of  nobles, 
of  which  the  male  line  was  now  extinct.  Her  hus- 
band, a  plebeian  whom  her  parents  had  forced  her  to 
marry,  met  his  death  by  a  sword-thrust,  during  her 
pre'gnancy,  leaving  a  much  encumbered  estate.  She 
received  visitors  three  times  a  week,  and  from  time 


to  time  gave  a  fashionable  dinner.  But  the  number 
of  wax  candles  was  calculated  beforehand,  and  she 
looked  forward  with  impatience  to  the  payment  of 
her  rents.  These  pecuniary  embarrassments,  con- 
cealed as  if  there  were  some  guilt  attached  to  them, 
imparted  a  certain  gravity  to  her  character.  Never- 
theless, she  displayed  no  prudery,  no  sourness,  in  the 
practice  of  her  particular  virtues.  Her  most  trifling 
charities  seemed  munificent  alms.  She  was  consulted 
about  the  selection  of  servants,  the  education  of 
young  girls,  and  the  art  of  making  preserves,  and 
Monseigneur  used  to  stay  at  her  house  on  the  occa- 
sion of  his  episcopal  visitations. 

Madame  Moreau  cherished  a  lofty  ambition  for 
her  son.  Through  a  prudence  which  was  grounded 
on  the  expectation  of  favours,  she  did  not  care  to 
hear  blame  cast  on  the  Government.  He  would  re- 
quire patronage  at  first;  then,  with  such  aid,  he 
might  become  a  councillor  of  state,  an  ambassador, 
a  minister.  His  success  at  the  college  of  Sens  justi- 
fied this  proud  anticipation ;  had  he  not  carried  off 
the  prize  of  honour? 

When  he  entered  the  drawing-room,  all  present 
arose  noisily ;  he  was  embraced ;  then  the  chairs,  large 
and  small,  were  drawn  up  in  a  big  semi-circle  around 
the  fireplace.  M.  Gamblin  immediately  asked  him 
what  his  opinion  was  about  Madame  Lafarge.  This 
case,  the  rage  of  the  moment,  did  not  fail  to  lead  to 
a  violent  discussion.  Madame  Moreau  stopped  it,  to 
the  regret,  however,  of  M.  Gamblin ;  he  deemed  it 
serviceable  to  the  young  man  in  his  character  of  a 
future  lawyer,  and,  nettled  at  what  had  occurred,  he 
left  the  drawing-room. 

Nothing  done  by  a  friend  of  Pere  Roque  should 
have  caused  surprise.  The  reference  to  Pere  Roque 


led  them  to  speak  of  M.  Dambreuse,  who  had  lately 
become  the  owner  of  the  demesne  of  La  Fortelle. 
But  the  tax-collector  had  drawn  Frederick  aside  to 
ask  what  he  thought  of  M.  Guizot's  latest  work. 
They  were  all  anxious  to  know  about  his  private  af- 
fairs, and  Madame  Benoit  went  cleverly  to  work, 
with  that  end  in  view,  by  inquiring  about  his  uncle. 
How  was  that  worthy  relative?  They  no  longer 
heard  from  him.  Had  he  not  a  distant  cousin  in 
America  ? 

The  cook  announced  that  Monsieur's  soup  was 
served.  The  guests  discreetly  retired.  As  soon  as 
they  were  alone  in  the  dining-room,  his  mother  said 
to  him  in  a  low  tone : 


The  old  man  had  received  him  in  a  very  cordial 
manner,  but  had  not  disclosed  his  intentions. 

Madame  Moreau  sighed. 

"  Where  is  she  now  ?  "  was  his  thought. 

The  diligence  was  probably  rolling  along  the  road, 
and,  wrapped  up  in  the  shawl,  doubtless,  she  was 
leaning  against  the  cloth  of  the  coupe,  her  beautiful 
head  nodding  as  she  slept. 

He  and  his  mother  wrere  about  to  go  up  to  their 
apartments  when  a  waiter  from  the  Swan  of  the 
Cross  brought  him  a  note. 

"  What  is  that,  pray  ?  " 

"  It  is-Deslauriers,  who  wishes  to  see  me,"  said  he. 

"  Ha !  your  chum !  "  said  Madame  Moreau,  with  a 
contemptuous  sneer.  "  Certainly  it  is  a  nice  hour  to 
choose ! " 

Frederick  hesitated.  But  friendship  was  stronger. 
He  got  his  hat. 

His  mother  requested  him  to  return  quickly. 



THE  father  of  Charles  Deslauriers  was  an  ex- 
captain  in  the  line.  He  had  retired  from  the 
service  in  1818  and  returned  to  Nogent,  where 
he  had  married.  With  the  amount  of  the  dowry  he 
bought  up  the  business  of  a  process-server,  which 
barely  maintained  him.  Made  bitter  by  continuous 
unjust  treatment,  suffering  still  from  the  effects  of 
old  wounds,  and  always  regretting  the  Emperor,  he 
vented  on  those  around  him  the  fits  of  rage  that 
seemed  to  choke  him.  Few  children  received  so 
many  thrashings  as  did  his  son.  In  spite  of  blows, 
however,  the  child  remained  obstinate.  His  mother, 
when  she  interposed,  was  also  ill-treated.  Finally, 
the  captain  placed  the  boy  in  his  office,  and  all  day 
long  kept  him  bent  over  a  desk  copying  documents, 
with  the  result  that  his  right  shoulder  was  noticeably 
higher  than  his  left. 

In  1833,  on  the  invitation  of  the  president,  the 
captain  sold  his  office.  His  wife  died  of  cancer.  He 
then  went  to  live  at  Dijon  and  started  in  business 
at  Troyes,  where  he  was  connected  with  the  slave 
trade.  Having  obtained  a  small  scholarship  for 
Charles,  he  placed  him  at  the  college  of  Sens,  where 
Frederick  met  him.  But  one  of  the  boys  was  twelve 
years  old,  while  the  other  was  fifteen;  besides,  a 
thousand  differences  of  character  and  origin  tended 
to  keep  them  apart. 

Frederick  had  in  his  chest  of  drawers  all  sorts  of 


useful  things — choice  articles,  such  as  a  dressing- 
case  would  indicate.  He  liked  to  lie  in  bed  in  the 
mornings,  to  look  at  the  swallows,  and  to  read  plays; 
and,  missing  the  comforts  of  home,  he  thought  col- 
lege life  rough.  To  the  process-server's  son  it 
seemed  a  pleasant  existence.  He  worked  so  hard 
that,  at  the  end  of  the  second  year,  he  got  into  the 
third  form.  However,  owing  to  his  poverty  or  to  his 
quarrelsome  disposition,  he  was  intensely  disliked. 
But  when  on  one  occasion,  in  the  courtyard  where 
pupils  of  the  middle  grade  exercised,  an  attendant 
openly  called  him  a  beggar's  child,  he  sprang  at  the 
fellow's  throat,  and  would  have  killed  him  if  three  of 
the  ushers  had  not  intervened.  Frederick,  moved  by 
admiration,  pressed  him  in  his  arms.  From  that  day 
forward  they  were  fast  friends.  The  affection  of  a 
grandee  no  doubt  flattered  the  vanity  of  the  youth 
of  meaner  rank,  and  the  other  accepted  as  a  piece  of 
good  fortune  the  devotion  freely  offered  to  him. 
During  the  holidays  Charles's  father  left  him  in  the 
college.  A  translation  of  Plato  which  he  chanced  on 
excited  his  enthusiasm.  He  became  smitten  with  a 
love  of  metaphysical  studies ;  and  he  made  rapid 
progress,  for  he  came  to  the  subject  with  all  the 
energy  of  youth  and  the  self-confidence  of  an  eman- 
cipated intellect.  Jouffroy,  Cousin,  Laromiguiere, 
Malebranche,  and  the  Scotch  metaphysicians — every- 
thing that  the  library  contained  dealing  with  this 
branch  of  knowledge  passed  through  his  hands.  He 
even  stole  the  key  in  order  to  get  at  the  books. 

Frederick's  intellectual  distractions  were  of  a  less 
serious  description.  He  made  sketches  of  the  gene- 
alogy of  Christ  as  carved  on  a  post  in  the  Rue  des 
Trois  Rois,  then  of  the  gateway  of  a  cathedral. 
After  a  course  of  mediaeval  dramas,  he  turned  to 


memoirs — Froissart,  Comines,  Pierre  de  1'Estoile,  and 

The  impressions  left  on  his  mind  by  this  kind  of 
reading  impressed  him  to  such  an  extent  that  he  felt 
a  need  within  him  of  reproducing  those  pictures  of 
bygone  days.  His  ambition  was  to  be,  one  day,  the 
Walter  Scott  of  France.  Deslauriers  dreamed  of 
formulating  an  exhaustive  system  of  philosophy,  cal- 
culated to  have  the  most  far-reaching  results. 

They  conversed  on  all  these  matters  at  recreation 
hours,  in  the  playground,  in  front  of  the  moral 
maxim  inscribed  under  the  clock.  They  whispered 
to  each  other  about  them  in  the  chapel,  even  with  St. 
Louis  staring  down  at  them.  They  dreamed  about 
them  in  the  dormitory,  which  looked  out  on  a  burial- 
ground.  On  walking-days  they  took  up  a  position 
behind  the  others,  and  talked  unceasingly. 

They  spoke  of  what  they  would  do  later,  when 
they  had  left  college.  First  of  all,  they  would  set  out 
on  a  long  voyage  with  the  money  which  Frederick 
would  take  out  of  his  own  fortune  immediately  on 
reaching  his  majority.  Then  they  would  return  to 
Paris;  they  would  work  together,  and  would  never 
part;  and,  as  a  relaxation  from  their  labours,  they 
would  have  love-affairs  with  princesses  in  boudoirs 
lined  with  satin,  or  dazzling  orgies  with  famous 
courtesans.  Their  rapturous  day-dreams  were  fol- 
lowed by  doubts.  After  a  crisis  of  verbose  gaiety, 
they  would  often  lapse  into  a  long  silence. 

On  summer  evenings,  when  they  had  been  walking 
for  some  time  over  stony  paths  which  bordered  on 
vineyards,  or  on  the  highroad  in  the  open  country, 
and  when  they  saw  the  wheat  waving  in  the  sunlight, 
while  the  air  was  filled  with  the  fragrance  of  an- 
gelica, a  sort  of  suffocating  sensation  overpowered 


them,  and  they  stretched  themselves  on  their  backs, 
dizzy,  intoxicated. 

The  proctor  maintained  that  they  mutually  cried 
up  each  other.  Nevertheless,  if  Frederick  worked  his 
way  up  to  the  higher  forms,  it  was  through  the  per- 
suasions of  his  friend ;  and,  during  the  vacation  in 
1837,  he  often  brought  Deslauriers  to  his  mother's 

Madame  Moreau  did  not  like  the  young  man.  He 
had  a  terrible  appetite.  He  was  fond  of  making  re- 
publican speeches.  To  crown  all,  she  got  it  into  her 
head  that  he  had  been  the  means  of  leading  her  son 
into  improper  places.  Their  relations  toward  each 
other  were  watched.  This  only  made  their  friend- 
ship grow  stronger,  and  they  bade  one  another  adieu 
with  deep  sorrow  when,  a  year  later,  Deslauriers  left 
the  college  to  study  law  in  Paris. 

Frederick  anxiously  looked  forward  to  the  time 
when  they  would  meet  again.  For  two  years  they 
had  not  seen  each  other;  and,  when  their  embraces 
were  over,  they  walked  across  the  bridges  to  talk 
more  at  their  ease. 

The  captain,  who  had  set  up  a  billiard-room  at 
Villenauxe,  had  become  very  angry  when  his  son  de- 
manded an  account  of  the  expense  of  tutelage,  and 
even  cut  down  the  cost  of  food  to  the  lowest  figure. 
As  he  intended  to  become  a  candidate  later  for  a 
professor's  chair  at  the  school,  and  as  he  had  no 
money,  Deslauriers  accepted  the  post  of  principal 
clerk  in  an  attorney's  office  at  Troyes.  By  dint  of 
sheer  privation  he  spared  four  thousand  francs;  and 
by  not  drawing  upon  the  sum  which  came  to  him 
through  his  mother,  he  would  always  have  enough 
to  enable  him  to  work  freely  for  three  years  while 
waiting  for  a  better  position.  It  was  necessary, 


therefore,  to  abandon  their  former  plan  of  living  to- 
gether in  the  capital,  at  least  for  the  present. 

Frederick  hung  down  his  head.  This  was  the  first 
of  his  dreams  to  crumble  into  dust. 

"  Be  comforted,"  said  the  captain's  son.  "  Life  is 
long.  We  are  both  young.  We  shall  meet  again. 
Think  no  more  of  it ! " 

He  shook  the  other's  hand  warmly,  and,  to  distract 
his  attention,  questioned  him  at  length  about  his 

Frederick  had  little  to  tell.  But,  at  the  recollec- 
tion of  Madame  Arnoux,  his  vexation  disappeared. 
He  did  not  mention  her,  restrained  by  a  feeling  of 
bashfulness.  He  made  up  for  this  by  expatiating  on 
Arnoux,  recalling  his  talk,  his  agreeable  manner,  his 
stories;  and  Deslauriers  urged  him  strongly  to  culti- 
vate this  new  acquaintance. 

Frederick  had  of  late  written  nothing.  His  liter- 
ary opinions  were  changed.  Passion  was  now  su- 
preme in  his  estimation.  He  was  equally  enthusias- 
tic over  Werther,  Rene,  Franck,  Lara,  Lelia,  and 
other  imaginative  creations  of  less  merit.  Sometimes 
it  seemed  to  him  that  music  alone  was  capable  of 
giving  expression  to  his  internal  agitation;  he 
dreamed  of  symphonies ;  or  else  the  surface  of 
things  attracted  him,  and  he  longed  to  paint.  He 
had,  however,  writen  verses.  Deslauriers  considered 
them  beautiful,  but  did  not  suggest  that  he  should 
write  another  poem. 

As  for  himself,  he  had  given  up  metaphysics.  So- 
cial economy  and  the  French  Revolution  absorbed  all 
his  attention.  He  was  a  tall  fellow  of  twenty-two, 
thin,  with  a  wide  mouth,  and  a  resolute  air.  On  this 
particular  evening,  he  wore  a  poor-looking  paletot  of 
lasting;  and  his  shoes  were  white  with  dust,  for  he 


had  come  all  the  way  from  Villenauxe  on  foot  ex- 
pressly to  see  Frederick. 

Isidore  appeared  while  they  were  talking.  Ma- 
dame begged  of  Monsieur  to  return  home,  and,  for 
fear  of  catching  cold,  she  had  sent  him  his  heavy 

"  Wait  a  while !  "  said  Deslauriers.  And  they  con- 
tinued walking  from  one  end  to  the  other  of  the  two 
bridges  which  rest  on  the  narrow  islet  formed  by  the 
canal  and  the  river. 

On  the  side  toward  Nogent  they  had  immediately  in 
front  of  them  a  block  of  houses  which  projected  a 
little.  At  the  right  was  the  church,  behind  the  mills, 
whose  sluices  had  been  closed  up ;  and,  on  the  left,  were 
the  hedges,  covered  with  shrubs,  skirting  the  wood, 
and  forming  a  boundary  for  the  gardens,  which  could 
scarcely  be  distinguished.  On  the  side  toward  Paris 
the  high  road  formed  a  sheer  descending  line,  and  the 
meadows  lost  themselves  in  the  distance  amid  the 
vapours  of  the  night.  Silence  reigned  along  this  road, 
whose  white  track  gleamed  through  the  surrounding 
gloom.  Odours  of  damp  leaves  ascended  toward  them. 
The  waterfall,  where  the  stream  had  been  diverted 
from  its  course  a  hundred  paces  farther  away,  rumbled 
with  that  deep  harmonious  sound  which  waves  make  in 
the  night  time. 

Deslauriers  stopped,  and  said : 

"  Tis  droll  to  have  all  these  worthy  folks  sleeping 
peacefully !  Patience !  A  new  'eighty-nine  is  in  the  air. 
People  are  tired  of  constitutions,  charters,  subtleties, 
lies !  Ah,  if  I  only  had  a  newspaper,  or  a  platform,  how 
I  would  wrestle  with  all  these  things!  But,  in  order 
to  undertake  anything  whatever,  money  is  necessary. 
What  a  curse  it  is  to  be  a  tavern-keeper's  son.  and  to 
waste  one's  youth  in  quest  of  bread !  " 


He  hung  his  head,  bit  his  lips,  and  shivered  beneath 
his  threadbare  overcoat. 

Frederick  flung  half  his  cloak  over  his  friend's  shoul- 
ders. They  both  wrapped  themselves  up  in  it;  and, 
with  their  arms  around  each  other,  they  walked  down 
the  road. 

"  How  do  you  think  I  can  possibly  live  over  there 
without  you  ?  "  said  Frederick. 

His  friend's  bitterness  had  revived  his  own  sadness. 

"  I  could  have  done  something,  with  a  woman  to  love 
me.  Why  do  you  laugh  ?  Love  is  the  inspiration,  and, 
as  it  were,  the  atmosphere  of  genius.  Extraordinary 
emotions  produce  sublime  results.  As  for  seeking  after 
her  whom  I  desire,  I  wyill  not !  Besides,  if  I  should  ever 
find  her,  she  would  repel  me.  I  belong  to  the  race  of 
the  disinherited,  and  I  shall  be  swept  under  by  a  treas- 
ure that  will  be  of  paste  or  of  diamond — I  know  not 

A  shadow  fell  across  the  road,  and  at  the  same  time 
they  heard  these  words : 

"  Pardon  me,  gentlemen !  " 

The  person  who  had  uttered  them  was  a  little  man 
attired  in  an  ample  brown  frock-coat,  and  with  a  cap 
on  his  head  which  under  its  peak  afforded  a  glimpse  of 
a  sharp  nose. 

"  Monsieur  Roque  ?  "  said  Frederick. 

'  The  very  man !  "  returned  the  voice. 

He  explained  his  presence  by  stating  that  he  was 
inspecting  the  wolf-traps  in  his  garden  near  the  water- 

"  And  so  you  are  back  again  in  the  old  home?  Very 
good  !  I  heard  of  it  through  my  little  girl.  Your  health 
is  good,  I  hope  ?  You  are  not  going  away  again  ?  " 

Then  he  left  them,  repelled,  probably,  by  Frederick's 


Madame  Moreau,  indeed,  was  not  on  visiting  terms 
with  him.  Pere  Roque  lived  in  peculiar  relations  with 
his  maidservant,  and  was  held  in  very  poor  esteem,  al- 
though he  was  the  vice-president  at  elections,  and  M. 
Dambreuse's  manager. 

'  The  banker  who  lives  in  the  Rue  d'Anjou,"  ob- 
served Deslauriers.  "  Do  you  know  what  you  ought 
to  do,  my  fine  fellow  ?  " 

Isidore  once  more  interrupted.  His  orders  were 
positive ;  he  was  not  to  return  without  Frederick. 
Madame  would  be  getting  uneasy  at  his  absence. 

"'  Well,  well,  he  will  go  back,"  said  Deslauriers. 
"  He  won't  stay  out  all  night." 

And,  as  soon  as  the  man-servant  had  disappeared : 

"  You  ought  to  get  that  old  fellow  to  introduce  you 
to  the  Dambreuses.  There's  nothing  so  useful  as  to 
be  on  visiting  terms  at  a  rich  man's  house.  Since  you 
have  a  black  coat  and  white  gloves,  make  use  of  them. 
You  must  mix  in  that  set.  You  can  introduce  me  later. 
Just  think! — a  man  worth  millions!  Do  all  you  can 
to  make  him  like  you,  and  his  wife,  too.  Become  her 
lover !  " 

Frederick  uttered  an  exclamation  of  protest. 

*'  Why,  I  can  quote  classical  examples  for  you  on 
that  point ;  I  should  rather  think  so !  Recall  Rastignac 
in  the  Comedie  Humaine.  You  will  succeed,  I  have  no 

Frederick  had  so  much  faith  in  Deslauriers  that  he 
felt  himself  weakening,  and  forgetting  Madame  Ar- 
noux,  or  including  her  in  the  prediction  made  with 
regard  to  the  other,  he  could  not  refrain  from  smiling. 

The  clerk  added : 

"  A  last  piece  of  advice :  pass  your  examinations.  It 
is  always  helpful  to  have  a  handle  to  your  name :  and, 
•without  more  ado,  give  up  your  Catholic  and  Satanic 


poets,  whose  philosophy  is  as  old  as  the  twelfth  cen- 
tury !  Your  despair  is  absurd.  The  very  greatest  men 
have  had  more  difficult  beginnings ;  for  example,  Mira- 
beau.  Besides,  our  separation  will  not  be  for  long.  I 
will  make  that  pickpocket  of  a  father  of  mine  disgorge. 
It  is  time  for  me  to  be  going  back.  Farewell !  Have 
you  got  a  hundred  sous,  that  I  may  pay  for  my  din- 
ner? " 

Frederick  gave  him  ten  francs,  all  that  was  left  of 
what  he  had  got  in  the  morning  from  Isidore. 

Meanwhile,  some  forty  yards  away  from  the  bridges, 
a  light  shone  from  the  garret-window  of  a  low-built 

Deslauriers  noticed  it.  Then,  removing  his  hat,  he 
said  impressively : 

"  Your  pardon,  Venus,  Queen  of  Heaven,  but  neces- 
sity is  the  parent  of  wisdom.  We  have  been  slandered 
enough  for  that — so  have  mercy." 

This  allusion  to  an  adventure  in  which  they  had  both 
taken  part,  put  them  in  a  merry  mood.  They  laughed 
loudly  as  they  passed  through  the  streets. 

Then,  having  settled  his  bill  at  the  inn,  Deslauriers 
walked  back  with  Frederick  as  far  as  the  crossway  near 
the  Hotel-Dieu.  The  two  friends  parted  after  a  fond 



FINDING  himself  one  morning,  two  months  later, 
in  the  Rue  Coq-Heron,  Frederick  bethought  him- 
self that  it  was  a  good  opportunity  to  make  his 
momentous  visit. 

Chance  aided  him.  Pere  Roque  had  given  him  a 
roll  of  papers,  requesting  him  to  deliver  them  up  per- 
sonally to  M.  Dambreuse ;  and  the  worthy  man  accom- 
panied the  package  with  an  open  letter  of  introduction 
in  behalf  of  his  young  friend. 

Madame  Moreau  appeared  surprised  at  this  proceed- 
ing, but  Frederick  concealed  his  delight. 

M.  Dambreuse's  real  title  was  the  Comte  d'Am- 
breuse ;  but  since  1825,  gradually  abandoning  his  title 
of  nobility  and  his  party,  he  had  given  his  attention  to 
business ;  and  with  his  ears  open  in  every  office,  his 
hand  in  every  enterprise,  on  the  alert  for  every  oppor- 
tunity, as  subtle  as  a  Greek  and  as  industrious  as  a 
native  of  Auvergne,  he  had  amassed  a  fortune  which 
might  be  called  considerable.  Furthermore,  he  was  an 
officer  of  the  Legion  of  Honour,  a  member  of  the  Gen- 
eral Council  of  the  Aube,  a  deputy,  and  some  day 
would  be  a  peer  of  France.  However,  affable  as  he 
was  in  other  respects,  he  wearied  the  Minister  by  his 
continual  applications  for  relief,  for  crosses,  and  for 
licences  for  tobacconists'  shops;  and  in  his  complaints 
against  authority  he  showed  inclinations  toward  the 
Left  Centre. 


His  wife,  the  pretty  Madame  Dambreuse,  who  fig- 
ured in  the  fashion  journals,  presided  at  charitable 
assemblies.  By  flattering  the  duchesses,  she  appeased 
the  rancours  of  the  aristocratic  faubourg,  and  caused 
the  residents  to  believe  that  M.  Dambreuse  might  yet 
repent  and  render  them  some  services. 

The  young  man  was  agitated  when  he  made  his  call. 

"  It  would  have  been  better  to  take  my  dress- 
coat  with  me.  No  doubt  they  will  give  me  an  invitation 
to  next  week's  ball.  What  will  they  think  of  me  ?  " 

His  self-confidence  returned  when  he  reflected  that 
M.  Dambreuse  was  only  a  person  of  the  middle  class, 
and  he  sprang  out  of  the  cab  briskly  on  reaching  the 
Rue  d'Anjou. 

When  he  had  pushed  open  one  of  the  two  gateways 
he  crossed  the  courtyard,  mounted  the  steps  in  front 
of  the  house,  and  entered  a  vestibule  paved  with  col- 
oured marble. 

A  bell  rang,  upon  which  a  valet  made  his  appearance. 
He  showed  Frederick  into  a  little  apartment,  where 
there  stood  two  strong-boxes,  and  numerous  pigeon- 
holes filled  with  pieces  of  pasteboard.  In  the  centre  of 
the  room  M.  Dambreuse  was  writing  at  a  roll-top 

He  glanced  over  Pere  Roque's  letter,  then  opened 
the  canvas  in  which  the  papers  were  wrapped,  and  ex- 
amined them. 

At  some  distance  M.  Dambreuse  presented  the  ap- 
pearance of  being  still  young,  owing  to  his  slight  figure. 
But  his  thin  white  hair,  his  feeble  limbs,  and,  above  all, 
the  extraordinary  pallor  of  his  face,  indicated  a  shat- 
tered constitution.  There  was  an  expression  of  pitiless 
energy  in  his  sea-green  eyes,  colder  than  eyes  of  glass. 
His  cheek-bones  projected,  and  his  finger-joints  were 


At  length  he  arose  and  asked  the  young  man  a  few 
questions  with  regard  to  mutual  acquaintances  at  No- 
gent  and  also  with  regard  to  his  studies,  and  then  dis- 
missed him  with  a  bow.  Frederick  went  out  through 
another  lobby,  and  found  himself  at  the  lower  end  of 
the  courtyard  near  the  coach-house. 

A  blue  brougham,  to  which  a  black  horse  was  yoked, 
stood  before  the  house.  The  carriage  door  opened,  a 
lady  stepped  in,  and  the  vehicle,  with  a  rumbling  noise, 
went  rolling  along  the  gravel.  Frederick  had  reached 
the  courtyard  gate  from  the  other  side  at  the  same  mo- 
ment. As  there  was  not  room  enough  for  him  to  pass, 
he  waited.  The  young  lady,  with  her  head  thrust  for- 
ward past  the  carriage  blind,  spoke  to  the  door-keeper 
in  a  very  low  tone.  All  he  could  see  was  her  back,  cov- 
ered with  a  violet  mantle.  However,  he  glanced  into 
the  interior  of  the  carriage,  lined  with  blue  rep,  and 
ornamented  with  silk  lace  and  fringes.  The  lady's 
robes  filled  up  the  space  within.  He  stole  away  from 
this  little  padded  box  with  its  perfume  of  iris,  and  its 
vague  atmosphere  of  feminine  elegance.  The  coach- 
man slackened  the  reins,  the  horse  jerked  abruptly  past 
the  starting-point,  and  all  disappeared. 

Frederick  returned  on  foot,  following  the  track  of 
the  boulevard. 

He  regretted  not  having  been  able  to  get  a  satis- 
factory view  of  Madame  Dambreuse.  A  little  higher 
than  the  Rue  Montmartre  a  regular  jumble  of  vehicles 
made  him  turn  his  head,  and  on  the  opposite  side,  fac- 
ing him,  he  read  on  a  marble  plate  : 


Strange  that  he  had  not  thought  about  her  sooner! 
It  was  Deslauriers'  fault ;  and  he  approached  the  shop, 


which,  however,  he  did  not  enter.  He  was  waiting  for 
her  to  appear. 

The  high,  transparent  plate-glass  windows  contained 
statuettes,  drawings,  engravings,  catalogues  and  num- 
bers of  L'Art  Industrie!,  arranged  in  a  skilful  fashion ; 
and  the  amounts  of  the  subscriptions  were  repeated  on 
the  door,  which  was  decorated  with  the  publisher's 

Frederick  pretended  to  be  examining  the  drawings. 
After  hesitating  for  a  long  time,  he  went  in.  A  clerk 
lifted  the  portiere,  and  in  reply  to  a  question,  said  that 
Monsieur  would  not  be  in  the  shop  before  five  o'clock. 
But  if  the  message  could  be  conveyed 

"  No !  I  will  come  back  again,"  Frederick  answered 

The  following  days  were  occupied  in  searching  for 
lodgings ;  and  he  fixed  upon  an  apartment  in  the  second 
story  of  a  furnished  mansion  in  the  Rue  Hyacinthe. 

With  a  fresh  blotting-case  under  his  arm,  he  set  out 
to  attend  the  opening  lecture  of  the  course.  Three 
hundred  young  men,  bare-headed,  filled  an  amphi- 
theatre, where  an  old  man  in  a  red  gown  was  deliver- 
ing a  discourse  in  a  monotonous  voice.  Quill  pens 
could  be  heard  scratching  over  the  paper.  In  this  hall 
he  found  once  more  the  dusty  odour  of  the  school,  a 
reading-desk  of  familiar  shape,  the  same  wearisome 
monotony !  For  a  fortnight  he  regularly  attended  the 
law  lectures.  But  he  dropped  the  study  of  the  Civil 
Code  before  getting  as  far  as  Article  3,  and  he  gave  up 
the  Institutes  at  the  Summa  Divisio  Personarum. 

The  pleasures  that  he  had  anticipated  did  not  come 
to  him;  and  when  he  had  exhausted  a  circulating  li- 
brary, gone  over  the  collections  in  the  Louvre,  and 
been  at  the  theatre  a  great  many  nights  in  succession, 
he  sank  into  the  lowest  depths  of  idleness. 


His  depression  was  augmented  by  a  thousand  fresh 
annoyances.  He  found  it  necessary  to  count  his  linen 
and  to  tolerate  the  door-keeper,  a  bore  with  the  figure 
of  a  male  hospital  nurse,  who  made  up  his  bed  in  the 
morning,  smelling  of  alcohol  always  and  grunting.  He 
did  not  like  his  apartment,  which  was  ornamented  with 
an  alabaster  time-piece.  The  partitions  were  thin ;  he 
could  hear  the  students  making  punch,  laughing  and 

Tired  of  this  solitude,  he  sought  out  one  of  his  old 
schoolfellows,  Baptiste  Martinon;  he  discovered  this 
friend  of  his  boyhood  in  a  middle-class  boarding-house 
in  the  Rue  Saint-Jacques,  cramming  in  legal  procedure, 
seated  before  a  coal  fire.  A  woman  in  a  print  dress  sat 
opposite  him  darning  his  socks. 

Martinon  was  what  people  call  a  very  fine  man — big, 
chubby,  with  regular  features,  and  blue  eyes  set  high  up 
in  his  face.  His  father,  an  extensive  landowner,  had 
destined  him  for  the  magistracy;  and  wishing  already 
to  present  a  dignified  exterior,  he  wore  his  beard  cut 
like  a  collar  round  his  neck. 

As  there  was  no  rational  foundation  for  Frederick's 
complaints,  and  as  he  could  not  give  evidence  of  any 
real  misfortune,  Martinon  was  unable  to  understand 
his  lamentations  about  existence.  As  for  him,  he  went 
every  morning  to  the  school,  after  that  took  a  walk  in 
the  Luxembourg,  in  the  evening  swallowed  his  half- 
cup  of  coffee ;  and  with  fifteen  hundred  francs  a  year, 
and  the  love  of  this  work-woman,  he  felt  perfectly 

"  What  happiness !  "  was  Frederick's  internal  com- 

At  the  school  he  had  formed  another  acquaintance,  a 
youth  of  aristocratic  family,  who  on  account  of  his 
dainty  manners  resembled  a  young  lady. 


M.  de  Cisy  devoted  himself  to  drawing,  and  loved 
the  Gothic  style.  They  frequently  went  together  to 
admire  the  Sainte-Chapelle  and  Notre  Dame.  But  the 
young  patrician's  rank  and  pretensions  covered  an  in- 
tellect of  the  feeblest  order.  Everything  took  him  by 
surprise.  He  laughed  immoderately  at  the  most  trifling 
joke,  and  displayed  such  utter  simplicity  that  Frederick 
at  first  took  him  for  a  wag,  and  finally  regarded  him  as 
a  booby. 

The  young  man  was  finding  it  impossible,  therefore, 
to  be  cordial  with  anyone ;  and  he  was  constantly  look- 
ing forward  to  an  invitation  from  the  Dambreuses. 

On  New  Year's  Day  he  sent  them  visiting-cards,  but 
received  none  in  return. 

He  made  his  way  back  to  the  office  of  L'Art  Indus- 

A  third  time  he  returned  to  it,  and  at  last  saw  Ar- 
noux  carrying  on  an  argument  with  five  or  six  persons 
around  him.  He  scarcely  responded  to  the  young 
man's  bow ;  and  Frederick  was  hurt  by  this  reception. 
None  the  less  he  cogitated  over  the  best  means  of  find- 
ing his  way  to  her  side. 

His  first  idea  was  to  come  frequently  to  the  shop  on 
the  pretext  of  getting  pictures  at  low  prices.  Then  he 
conceived  the  notion  of  slipping  into  the  letter-box  of 
the  journal  a  few  "  very  strong  "  articles,  which  might 
lead  to  friendly  relations.  Perhaps  it  would  be  wiser 
to  go  straight  to  the  mark  at  once,  and  declare  his  love  ? 
Acting  on  this  impulse,  he  wrote  a  letter  covering  a 
dozen  pages,  full  of  lyric  lines  and  apostrophes ;  but  he 
tore  it  up,  and  did  nothing,  attempted  nothing — bereft 
of  motive  power  by  his  want  of  success. 

Above  Arnoux's  shop  there  were,  on  the  first  floor, 
three  windows  which  were  lighted  up  every  evening. 
Shadows  might  be  seen  moving  about  behind  the  blinds, 


especially  one ;  this  was  hers ;  and  he  went  far  out  of 
his  way  in  order  to  gaze  at  the  windows,  and  to  con- 
template that  shadow. 

A  negress  who  crossed  his  path  one  day  in  the  Tuil- 
eries,  holding  a  little  girl  by  the  hand,  recalled  to  his 
mind  Madame  Arnoux's  negress.  She  was  sure  to 
come  there,  like  the  others ;  every  time  he  passed 
through  the  Tuileries  his  heart  began  to  beat  with  the 
anticipation  of  meeting  her.  On  sunny  days  he  con- 
tinued to  walk  as  far  as  the  end  of  the  Champs-Elysees. 

Women  seated  with  careless  ease  in  open  carriages, 
and  with  their  veils  floating  in  the  wind,  passed  close 
to  him,  their  horses  advancing  at  a  steady  walking  pace, 
and  with  an  unconscious  see-saw  movement  that  made 
the  varnished  leather  of  the  harness  crackle.  His  eyes 
wandered  along  the  rows  of  female  heads,  and  certain 
vague  resemblances  brought  back  Madame  Arnoux  to 
his  mind.  He  pictured  her  to  himself,  in  the  midst  of 
the  others,  in  one  of  those  little  broughams  like  that  in 
which  he  had  seen  Madame  Dambreuse. 

But  the  sun  was  setting,  the  cold  wind  raised  whirl- 
ing clouds  of  dust,  and  all  the  equipages  descended  the 
long  sloping  avenue  at  a  quick  trot,  touching',  sweeping 
past  one  another,  getting  out  of  one  another's  way; 
then,  at  the  Place  de  la  Concorde,  they  went  off  in  dif- 
ferent directions. 

Frederick  went  to  a  restaurant  in  the  Rue  de  la 
Harpe  and  got  a  dinner  for  forty-three  sous.  He 
glanced  disdainfully  at  the  old  mahogany  counter,  the 
soiled  napkins,  the  worn  silver-plate,  and  the  hats 
hanging  on  the  wall. 

Those  around  him  were  students  like  himself.  They 
talked  about  their  professors,  and  about  their  mis- 
tresses. What  cared  he  about  professors?  And  had 
he  a  mistress?  To  avoid  being  a  witness  of  their  en- 


joyment,  he  came  as  late  as  possible.  The  tables  were 
all  strewn  with  remnants  of  food.  The  two  waiters, 
worn  out  with  attendance  on  customers,  lay  asleep, 
each  in  a  different  corner ;  and  an  odour  of  cooking, 
of  an  argand  lamp,  and  of  tobacco,  filled  the  deserted 
dining-room.  Then  he  slowly  toiled  along  the  streets 

He  was  smitten  with  a  vague  remorse.  He  renewed 
his  attendance  at  lectures.  But  as  he  was  entirely  ig- 
norant of  the  matters  which  formed  the  subject  of 
explanation,  things  of  the  simplest  description  puzzled 
him.  He  set  about  writing  a  novel,  which  he  entitled 
Sylvio,  the  Fisherman's  Son.  The  scene  of  the  story 
was  Venice.  The  hero  was  himself,  and  Madame 
Arnoux  was  the  heroine.  She  was  named  Antonia; 
and,  to  get  possession  of  her,  the  hero  assassinated  a 
number  of  noblemen,  and  burned  a  portion  of  the  city ; 
after  which  feats  he  sang  a  serenade  under  her  bal- 
cony, whereon  fluttered  in  the  breeze  the  red  damask 
curtains  of  the  Boulevard  Montmartre. 

The  numerous  reminiscences  on  which  he  dwelt  pro- 
duced a  disheartening  effect  on  him ;  he  went  no  far- 
ther with  the  work,  and  his  mental  vacuity  redoubled. 

After  this,  he  begged  of  Deslauriers  to  come  and 
share  his  apartment.  They  might  make  arrangements 
to  live  together  with  the  aid  of  his  allowance  of  two 
thousand  francs;  anything  would  be  better  than  this 
miserable  existence.  Deslauriers  could  not  yet  leave 
Troyes.  He  urged  his  friend  to  find  some  means  of 
diverting  his  thoughts,  and,  with  that  end  in  view,  sug- 
gested that  he  should  call  on  Senecal. 

Senecal  was  a  mathematical  tutor,  a  hard-headed 
man  with  republican  convictions,  a  future  Saint- Just, 
according  to  the  clerk.  Frederick  ascended  the  five 
flights,  up  which  he  lived,  three  times  in  succession, 


without  getting  a  visit  from  him  in  return.  He  did  not 
go  back. 

He  now  determined  to  amuse  himself.  He  attended 
the  balls  at  the  Opera  House.  These  exhibitions  of 
riotous  gaiety  chilled  him  the  moment  he  had  passed 
the  door.  Besides,  he  was  embarrassed  by  the  fear  of 
being  subjected  to  insult  on  the  subject  of  money,  his 
notion  being  that  a  supper  with  a  domino  entailed 
considerable  expense,  and  was  rather  a  big  adventure. 

It  seemed  to  him,  nevertheless,  that  he  must  needs 
love  her.  Sometimes  he  used  to  wake  up  with  his 
heart  full  of  hope,  dress  himself  carefully  as  if  he  were 
going  to  keep  an  appointment,  and  start  on  inter- 
minable excursions  all  over  Paris.  Whenever  a  woman 
walked  in  front  of  him,  or  came  toward  him,  he  would 
say :  "  Here  she  is !  "  Every  time  it  was  only  a  fresh 
disappointment.  The  thought  of  Madame  Arnoux 
strengthened  these  desires.  Perhaps  he  might  find  her 
on  his  way;  and  he  conjured  up  dangerous  complica- 
tions, extraordinary  perils  from  which  he  might  have 
the  opportunity  to  save  her. 

So  the  days  slipped  by  with  the  same  tiresome  ex- 
periences, and  enslavement  to  contracted  habits.  Every 
week  he  wrote  long  letters  to  Deslauriers,  dined  from 
time  to  time  with  Martinon,and 
Cisy.  Then  he  hired  a  piano  and  composed  German 

One  evening  at  the  theatre  of  the  Palais-Royal,  he 
saw,  in  one  of  the  stage-boxes,  Arnoux  with  a  woman 
by  his  side.  Was  it  she  ?  The  screen  of  green  taffeta, 
pulled  over  the  side  of  the  box,  hid  her  face.  At  length, 
the  curtain  rose,  and  the  screen  was  drawn  aside.  She 
was  a  tall  woman  of  about  thirty,  rather  faded,  and, 
when  she  laughed,  her  thick  lips  uncovered  a  row  of 
shining  teeth.  She  chatted  familiarly  with  Arnoux, 


tapping"  him  on  the  fingers  from  time  to  time  with  her 
fan.  Then  a  fair-haired  young  girl  with  eyelids  a  little 
red,  as  if  she  had  just  been  weeping,  seated  herself 
between  them.  Arnoux,  after  that,  remained  stooping 
over  her  shoulder,  pouring  forth  a  stream  of  talk  to 
which  she  listened  without  replying.  Frederick  taxed 
his  ingenuity  to  conceive  what  the  social  position  of 
these  modestly  attired  women  could  be. 

At  the  close  of  the  play,  he  made  a  dash  for  the  pas- 
sages. A  crowd  of  people  going  out  filled  them  up. 
Arnoux,  just  ahead  of  him,  was  descending  the  stair- 
case step  by  step,  with  a  woman  on  each  arm. 

Suddenly  a  gas-burner  shed  its  light  on  him.  He 
wore  a  crape  hat-band.  She  was  dead,  perhaps  ?  This 
idea  tormented  Frederick's  mind  so  much,  that  he  hur- 
ried, next  day,  to  the.  office  of  L 'Art  Industriel,  and 
paying,  without  a  moment's  delay,  for  one  of  the  en- 
gravings exposed  in  the  window  for  sale,  he  asked  the 
shop-assistant  how  Monsieur  Arnoux  was. 

The  shop-assistant  replied : 

"  Why,  quite  well !  " 

Frederick,  growing  pale,  added : 

"  And  Madame  ?  " 

"  Madame,  also." 

Frederick  forgot  to  carry  off  his  engraving. 

The  winter  drew  to  a  close.  He  was  less  melancholy 
in  the  spring  time,  and  began  to  study  for  his  examina- 
tion. After  passing  it  indifferently,  he  went  home. 

He  refrained  from  going  to  Troyes  to  see  his  friend, 
in  order  to  escape  his  mother's  comments.  On  his  re- 
turn to  Paris  at  the  end  of  the  vacation,  he  moved  to 
two  rooms  on  the  Quai  Napoleon,  which  he  furnished. 
He  was  hopeless  now  of  ever  getting  an  invitation 
from  the  Dambreuses.  His  great  passion  for  Madame 
Arnoux  was  also  fading  away. 



WHILE  on  his  way  to  attend  a  law  lecture 
one  morning  in  December  Frederick  noticed 
more  than  ordinary  excitement  in  the  Rue 
Saint- Jacques.  The  students  were  rushing  out  of  the 
cafes,  and,  through  the  open  windows,  they  were  call- 
ing from  one  house  to  the  other.  The  shop-keepers, 
standing  in  the  middle  of  the  footpath,  were  looking 
about  them  anxiously ;  the  window-shutters  were  fas- 
tened ;  and  when  he  reached  the  Rue  Soufflot  there 
was  a  large  assemblage  around  the  Pantheon. 

Frederick  found  himself  close  to  fair-haired  young 
man  of  prepossessing  appearance,  with,  a  moustache 
and  a  tuft  of  beard  on  his  chin,  like  a  dandy  of  Louis 
Kill's  time.  He  asked  the  stranger  what  the  mat- 
ter was. 

"  I  haven't  the  least  idea,"  replied  the  other,  "  nor 
have  they,  for  that  matter!  'Tis  their  fashion  just 
now !  What  a  good  joke !  " 

And  he  burst  out  laughing.  The  petitions  for  Re- 
form, which  had  been  signed  at  the  quarters  of  the 
National  Guard,  together  with  the  property-census  of 
Humann  and  other  events  besides,  had,  for  the  past  six 
months,  led  to  inexplicable  gatherings  of  riotous  crowds 
in  Paris,  and  so  frequently  had  they  broken  out  that 
the  newspapers  had  ceased  to  refer  to  them. 

"  This  lacks  graceful  outline  and  colour,"  continued 
Frederick's  neighbour.  "  I  am  convinced,  messire,  that 


we  have  degenerated.  In  the  good  epoch  of  Louis  XI, 
and  even  in  that  of  Benjamin  Constant,  there  was  more 
mutiny  amongst  the  students.  I  find  them  as  pacific  a? 
sheep,  as  stupid  as  greenhorns,  and  only  fit  to  be  grocers. 
Ye  gods !  And  these  are  what  we  call  the  youth  of 
the  schools !  " 

He  extended  his  arms  after  the  fashion  of  Frederick 
Lemaitre  in  Robert  Macaire. 

"  Youth  of  the  schools,  I  give  you  my  blessing !  " 

After  this,  addressing  a  ragpicker,  who  was  moving 
a  heap  of  oyster-shells  up  against  the  wall  of  a  wine- 
merchant's  house : 

"  Do  you  belong  to  them — the  youth  of  the  schools  ?  " 

The  old  man  lifted  up  a  hideous  countenance  in 
which  one  could  trace,  in  the  midst  of  a  grey  beard,  a 
red  nose  and  two  dull  eyes,  bloodshot  from  drink. 

"  No,  you  appear  to  me  rather  one  of  those  men  with 
patibulary  faces  whom  we  see,  on  various  occasions, 
liberally  scattering  gold.  Oh,  scatter  it,  my  patriarch, 
scatter  it!  Corrupt  me  with  the  treasures  of  Albion! 
Are  you  English?  I  do  not  reject  the  presents  of 
Artaxerxes !  Let  us  have  a  little  talk  about  the  union 
of  customs !  " 

Frederick  felt  a  hand  on  his  shoulder.  It  was  Mar- 
tinon,  looking  exceedingly  pale. 

"  Well !  "  said  he  with  a  deep  sigh,  "  another  riot !  " 

He  was  afraid  of  being  compromised,  and  uttered 
complaints.  Men  in  blouses  especially  made  him  feel 
uneasy,  suggesting  a  connection  with  secret  societies. 

"  You  mean  to  say  you  believe  in  secret  societies," 
said  the  young  man  with  the  moustaches.  "  That  is  a 
worn-out  trick  of  the  Government  to  frighten  the  mid- 
dle-class folk !  " 

Martinon  urged  him  to  speak  in  a  lower  tone,  for 
fear  of  the  police. 


"  You  believe  also  in  the  police,  do  you  ?  As  a  mat- 
ter of  fact,  how  do  you  know,  Monsieur,  that  I  am  not 
myself  a  police  spy?" 

And  he  looked  at  him  in  such  a  way,  that  Martinon, 
much  discomposed,  was,  at  first,  unable  to  see  the  joke. 
The  people  pushed  them  on,  and  they  were  all  three 
forced  to  stand  on  the  little  staircase  which  led,  by  one 
of  the  passages,  to  the  new  amphitheatre. 

The  crowd  soon  dispersed  of  its  own  accord.  Many 
faces  could  be  distinguished.  They  bowed  toward 
the  distinguished  Professor  Samuel  Rondelot,  who, 
wrapped  in  his  big  frock-coat,  with  his  silver  spectacles 
up  high  on  his  forehead,  and  breathing  hard  from  his 
asthma,  was  advancing  at  an  easy  pace,  on  his  way  to 
deliver  his  lecture.  This  man  was  one  of  the  judicial 
glories  of  the  nineteenth  century,  the  rival  of  tlu, 
Zachariaes  and  the  Ruhdorffs.  His  new  dignity  as  peer 
of  France  had  in  no  way  altered  his  external  de- 
meanour. He  was  known  to  be  poor,  and  was  treated 
with  profound  respect. 

Meanwhile,  at  the  lower  end  of  the  square,  some  per- 
sons cried  out : 

"  Down  with  Guizot !  " 

"  Down  with  Pritchard !  " 

"  Down  with  the  sold  ones !  " 

"  Down  with  Louis  Philippe !  " 

The  crowd  swayed  to  and  fro,  and,  pressing  against 
the  gate  of  the  courtyard,  which  was  shut,  the  professor 
was  prevented  from  going  farther.  He  stopped  in 
front  of  the  staircase.  He  was  speedily  observed  on 
the  lowest  of  three  steps.  He  spoke;  the  loud  mur- 
murs of  the  throng  drowned  his  voice.  Although  at 
another  time  they  might  love  him,  they  hated  him  now, 
for  he  represented  authority.  He  was  answered  by 
vociferations  from  all  sides.  He  shrugged  his  shoulders 


disdainfully,  and  plunged  into  the  passage.  Martinon 
profited  by  his  situation  to  disappear  at  the  same  mo- 

"  What  a  coward !  "  said  Frederick. 

"  He  was  prudent,"  returned  the  other. 

There  was  an  outburst  of  applause  from  the  crowd, 
from  whose  point  of  view  this  retreat,  on  the  part  of 
the  professor,  appeared  in  the  light  of  a  victory.  r§Ffi>m 
every  window,  faces,  eager  with  curiosity,  lookecj-lpi}fo 
Some  struck  up  the  "  Marseillaise  ";  others 
going  to  Beranger's  house. 

"  To  Laffitte's  house !  "  'oo{ 

"  To  Chateaubriand's  house  !  " 

"  To  Voltaire's  house !  "  yelled  the  young  man  wr$» 
the  fair  moustaches.  "j- 

The  police  tried  to  pass  around,  saying  in  the  mildest 
tones  they  could  assume : 

"  Move  on,  messieurs !  Move  on !  Take  yourselves 

Somebody  shouted : 

"  Down  with  the  slaughterers !  " 

This  was  a  form  of  insult  common  since  the  troubles 
of  September.  Everyone  echoed  it.  The  guardians  of 
public  order  were  hooted  and  hissed.  They  began  to 
grow  pale.  One  of  them  could  endure  it  no  longer, 
and,  seeing  a  low-sized  young  man  approaching  too 
close,  and  laughing  in  his  teeth,  he  pushed  him  back  so 
roughly  that  he  tumbled  over  on  his  back  some  five 
paces  away,  in  front  of  a  wine-merchant's  shop.  All 
made  way ;  but  almost  immediately  afterward  the  po- 
liceman rolled  on  the  ground  himself,  felled  by  a  blow 
from  a  species  of  Hercules,  whose  hair  hung  down  like 
a  bundle  of  tow  under  an  oilskin  cap.  Having  stopped 
for  a  few  minutes  at  the  corner  of  the  Rue  Saint- 
Jacques,  he  had  very  quickly  laid  down  a  large  case, 


which  he  had  been  carrying,  in  order  to  make  a  spring 
at  the  policeman,  and,  holding  down  that  functionary, 
punched  his  face  unmercifully.  The  other  policemen 
rushed  to  the  rescue  of  their  comrade.  The  terrible 
shop-assistant  was  so  powerfully  built  that  it  took  four 
of  them  to  overcome  him.  Two  shook  him,  while  keep- 
ing a  grip  on  his  collar ;  two  others  dragged  his  arms ; 
a  fifth  gave  him  digs  of  the  knee  in  the  ribs ;  and  all 
of  them  called  him  "  brigand,"  "  assassin,"  "  rioter." 
With  his  breast  bare,  and  his  clothes  in  rags,  he  pro- 
tested that  he  was  innocent ;  he  could  not,  in  cold  blood, 
look  at  a  child  being  beaten. 

"  My  name  is  Dussardier.  I'm  employed  at  Mes- 
sieurs Valincart  Brothers'  lace  and  fancy  warehouse,  in 
the  Rue  de  Clerv.  Where's  my  case?  I  want  my 
case !  " 

He  kept  repeating: 

"  Dussardier,  Rue  de  Clery.     My  case !  " 

However,  he  quieted  down,  and,  with  a  stoical  air, 
allowed  himself  to  be  led  toward  the  guard-house  in  the 
Rue  Descartes.  A  flood  of  people  came  rushing  after 
him.  Frederick  and  the  young  man  with  the  mous- 
taches walked  immediately  behind,  full  of  admiration 
for  the  shopman,  and  indignant  at  the  violence  of  power. 

As  they  advanced,  the  crowd  thinned. 

The  policemen  from  time  to  time  turned  round,  with 
threatening  looks;  and  the  rowdies,  no  longer  having 
anything  to  do,  and  the  spectators  not  having  anything 
to  look  at,  all  drifted  away  by  degrees.  The  passers-by, 
who  met  the  procession,  stared  at  Dussardier,  and  in 
loud  tones  made  abusive  remarks  about  him.  One  old 
woman,  at  her  own  door,  bawled  out  that  he  had  stolen 
a  loaf  of  bread  from  her.  This  unjust  accusation  in- 
creased the  wrath  of  the  two  friends.  At  length,  they 
reached  the  guard-house. 


Frederick  and  his  companion  boldly  demanded  to 
have  the  man  under  arrest  delivered  up.  The  sentinel 
threatened,  if  they  persisted,  to  ram  them  into  jail  too. 
They  said  they  desired  to  see  the  commander  of  the 
guard-house,  and  stated  their  names,  and  the  fact  that 
they  were  law-students,  declaring  that  the  prisoner  was 
one  also. 

They  were  ushered  into  a  room  perfectly  bare,  in 
which,  amid  an  atmosphere  of  smoke,  four  benches 
lined  the  roughly  plastered  walls.  At  the  lower  end 
there  was  an  open  wicket.  Then  appeared  the  sturdy 
face  of  Dussardier,  who,  with  his  hair  all  tousled,  his 
honest  little  eyes,  and  his  broad  snout,  suggested  to 
one's  mind  in  a  confused  sort  of  way  the  physiognomy 
of  a  faithful  dog. 

"  Don't  you  recognise  us?  "  said  Hussonnet. 

This  was  the  name  of  the  young  man  with  the  mous- 

"  Why — "  stammered  Dussardier. 

"  Don't  play  the  fool  any  longer,"  returned  the  other. 
"  We  know  that,  like  ourselves,  you,  too,  are  a  law- 

In  spite  of  their  winks,  Dussardier  failed  to  under- 
stand. He  appeared  to  be  collecting  his  thoughts ;  then, 
suddenly : 

"  Has  my  case  been  found?  " 

Frederick  raised  his  eyes,  feeling  much  discouraged. 

Hussonnet,  however,  said  promptly : 

"  Ha !  your  case,  in  which  you  keep  your  notes  of 
lectures  ?  Yes,  yes,  make  your  mind  easy  about  that !  " 

They  made  further  pantomimic  signs  with  redoubled 
energy,  till  Dussardier  at  last  realised  that  they  had 
come  to  help  him ;  and  he  held  his  tongue,  fearing  that 
he  might  compromise  them.  Besides,  he  experienced 
a  kind  of  shamefacedness  at  seeing  himself  raised  to 


the  social  rank  of  student,  and  to  an  equality  with  those 
young  men  who  had  such  white  hands. 

"Do  you  wish  to  send  any  message  to  anyone?" 
asked  Frederick. 

"  No,  thanks,  not  to  anyone." 

"  But  your  family  ?  " 

He  bent  his  head  without  replying;  the  poor  fellow 
was  a  bastard.  The  two  friends  stood  quite  astonished 
at  his  silence. 

"  Have  you  anything  to  smoke  ?  "  was  Frederick's 
next  question. 

He  felt  about,  then  drew  forth  from  the  depths  of 
one  of  his  pockets  the  remains  of  a  pipe — a  beautiful 
pipe,  made  of  white  talc  with  a  shank  of  blackwood,  a 
silver  cover,  and  an  amber  mouthpiece. 

For  the  last  three  years  he  had  been  engaged  in  com- 
pleting this  masterpiece.  He  had  carefully  kept  the 
bowl  of  it  in  a  kind  of  sheath  of  chamois,  smoking  it 
as  slowly  as  possible,  without  ever  letting  it  lie  on  any 
cold  stone  substance,  and  hanging  it  up  every  evening 
over  the  head  of  his  bed.  And  now  he  shook  out  the 
fragments  of  it  into  his  hand,  the  nails  of  which  were 
covered  with  blood,  and  with  his  chin  sunk  on  his  chest, 
his  pupils  fixed  and  dilated,  he  gazed  at  this  wreck  of 
the  thing  that  had  yielded  him  such  delight  with  un- 
utterable sadness. 

"  Suppose  we  give  him  some  cigars,  eh?  "  said  Hus- 
sonnet  in  a  whisper,  making  a  gesture  as  if  he  were 
handing  them  out. 

Frederick  had  already  laid  down  a  cigar-holder, 
filled,  on  the  edge  of  the  wicket. 

"  Pray  take  this.    Good-bye  !    Cheer  up !  " 

Dussardier  flung  himself  on  the  two  hands  that  were 
held  out  toward  him.  He  pressed  them  frantically,  his 
voice  choked  with  sobs. 


"  What  ?    For  me  !— f  or  me !  " 

The  two  friends  tore  themselves  away  from  this  ef- 
fusive display  of  gratitude,  and  went  off  to  lunch  to- 
gether at  the  Cafe  Tabourey,  near  the  Luxembourg. 

While  cutting  up  the  beefsteak,  Hussonnet  informed 
his  companion  that  he  worked  for  the  fashion  journals, 
and  manufactured  catchwords  for  L 'Art  Industriel. 

"At  Jacques  Arnoux's  establishment?"  said  Fred- 

"  Do  you  know  him?  " 

"  Yes  ! — no  ! — that  is  to  say,  I  have  seen  him — I  have 
met  him." 

He  carelessly  asked  Hussonnet  if  he  ever  saw  Ar- 
noux's wife. 

"  Sometimes/'  the  Bohemian  replied. 

Frederick  did  not  venture  to  follow  up  his  inquiries. 
This  man  henceforth  would  occupy  a  large  space  in  his 
life.  He  paid  the  cafe  bill  without  any  protest  on  the 
other's  part. 

There  was  a  bond  of  mutual  sympathy  between 
them ;  they  gave  one  another  their  respective  addresses, 
and  Hussonnet  cordially  invited  Frederick  to  accom- 
pany him  to  the  Rue  de  Fleurus. 

They  had  reached  the  middle  of  the  garden,  when 
Arnoux's  clerk,  holding  his  breath,  twisted  his  features 
into  a  hideous  grimace,  and  began  to  crow  like  a  cock. 
Thereupon  all  the  cocks  in  the  vicinity  responded  with 
prolonged  "  cock-a-doodle-doos." 

"  It  is  a  signal,"  explained  Hussonnet. 

They  stopped  close  to  the  Theatre  Bobino,  in  front 
of  a  house,  which  they  approached  by  way  of  an 
alley.  In  the  skylight  of  a  garret,  between  the  nastur- 
tiums and  the  sweet  peas,  a  young  woman  showed  her- 
self, bare-headed,  in  her  stays,  her  two  arms  resting  on 
the  edge  of  the  roof-gutter. 


"  Good-morrow,  my  angel !  good-morrow,  ducky !  " 
said  Hussonnet,  sending  her  kisses. 

He  made  the  barrier  fly  open  with  a  kick,  and  dis- 

Frederick  waited  for  him  all  the  week.  He  did  not 
like  to  call  at  Hussonnet's  residence,  lest  it  might  ap- 
pear as  if  he  were  in  a  hurry  for  a  luncheon  in  return 
for  the  one  he  had  paid  for.  But  he  sought  the  clerk  all 
over  the  Latin  Quarter.  He  came  across  him  one  even- 
ing, and  brought  him  to  his  apartment  on  the  Quai 

They  had  a  long  chat,  and  unbosomed  themselves  to 
each  other.  Hussonnet  yearned  after  the  glory  and  the 
gains  of  the  theatre.  He  collaborated  in  the  writing 
of  vaudevilles  which  were  not  accepted,  "  had  heaps  of 
plans,"  could  turn  a  couplet ;  he  sang  for  Frederick  a 
few  of  the  verses  he  had  composed.  Then,  noticing  on 
one  of  the  shelves  a  volume  of  Hugo  and  another  of 
Lamartine,  he  broke  out  into  sarcastic  criticisms  of  the 
romantic  school.  These  poets  had  neither  good  sense 
nor  correctness,  and,  above  all,  did  not  write  French ! 
He  plumed  himself  on  his  knowledge  of  the  language, 
and  analysed  the  most  beautiful  phrases  with  that 
snarling  severity,  that  academic  taste,  which  persons  of 
playful  disposition  exhibit  when  they  are  discussing 
serious  art. 

Frederick  was  wounded  in  his  predilections,  and  felt 
a  desire  to  shorten  the  discussion.  Why  not  take  the 
risk  at  once  of  uttering  the  word  on  which  his  happi- 
ness depended  ?  He  asked  this  literary  youth  whether 
it  would  be  possible  to  get  an  introduction  into  the 
Arnoux's  house  through  him. 

The  thing  was  declared  to  be  quite  easy,  and  they 
fixed  upon  the  following  day. 

Hussonnet  failed  to  keep  the  appointment,  and  on 


three  subsequent  occasions  he  did  not  turn  up.  One 
Saturday,  about  four  o'clock,  he  made  his  appearance. 
But,  taking  advantage  of  the  cab  into  which  they  had 
got,  he  drew  up  in  front  of  the  Theatre  Frangais  to  get 
a  box-ticket,  got  down  at  a  tailor's  shop,  then  at  a 
dressmaker's,  and  wrote  notes  in  the  doorkeeper's 
lodge.  At  last  they  came  to  the  Boulevard  Mont- 
martre.  Frederick  passed  through  the  shop,  and  went 
up  the  staircase.  Arnoux  recognised  him  through  the 
glass-partition  in  front  of  his  desk,  and  while  continu- 
ing to  write  he  stretched  out  his  hand  and  laid  it  on 
Frederick's  shoulder. 

Five  or  six  persons,  standing  around,  filled  the  nar- 
row apartment,  which  was  lighted  by  a  single  window 
looking  out  on  the  yard ;  a  sofa  of  brown  damask  wool 
filled  the  interior  of  an  alcove  between  two  door-cur- 
tains of  similar  material.  Upon  the  chimney-piece, 
covered  with  old  papers,  there  was  a  bronze  Venus. 
Two  candelabra,  garnished  with  rose-coloured  wax- 
tapers,  supported  it,  one  at  each  side.  At  the  right, 
near  a  cardboard  chest  of  drawers,  a  man,  seated  in  an 
armchair,  and  with  his  hat  on,  was  reading  a  news- 
paper. The  walls  were  hidden  beneath  an  array  of 
prints  and  pictures,  precious  engravings  or  sketches  by 
contemporary  masters,  adorned  with  dedications  testi- 
fying the  most  sincere  affection  for  Jacques  Arnoux. 

"  You're  getting  on  well  all  this  time  ?  "  said  he,  turn- 
ing round  to  Frederick. 

And,  without  waiting  for  an  answer,  he  asked  Hus- 
sonnet  in  a  low  tone : 

"  What  is  your  friend's  name  ?  "  Then,  raising  his 
voice : 

"  Take  a  cigar  out  of  the  box  on  the  cardboard 

The  office  of  L 'Art  Industriel,  situated  in  a  central 


position  in  Paris,  was  a  convenient  place  of  resort,  a 
neutral  ground  wherein  rivalries  elbowed  each  other 
familiarly.  On  this  day  might  be  seen  there  Antenor 
Braive,  who  painted  portraits  of  kings ;  Jules  Burrieu, 
who  by  his  sketches  was  popularising  the  wars  in  Al- 
geria ;  the  caricaturist  Sombary,  the  sculptor  Vourdat, 
and  several  others.  And  not  a  single  one  of  them  cor- 
responded with  the  student's  preconceived  ideas.  Their 
manners  were  simple,  their  talk  free  and  easy.  The 
mystic  Lovarias  told  an  obscene  story ;  and  the  inventor 
of  Oriental  landscape,  the  famous  Dittmer,  wore  a  knit- 
ted shirt  under  his  waistcoat,  and  went  home  in  the 

The  first  topic  discussed  was  the  case  of  a  girl  named 
Apollonie,  formerly  a  model,  whom  Burrieu  alleged 
that  he  had  seen  on  the  boulevard  in  a  carriage.  Hus- 
sonnet  explained  this  metamorphosis  through  the  suc- 
cession of  persons  who  had  loved  her. 

"  How  well  this  sly  dog  knows  the  girls  of  Paris !  " 
said  Arnoux. 

"  After  you,  if  there  are  any  of  them  left,  sire,"  re- 
plied the  Bohemian,  with  a  military  salute,  in  imitation 
of  the  grenadier  offering  his  flask  to  Napoleon. 

The  conversation  was  interrupted  by  the  entrance  of 
a  man  of  middle  stature,  whose  coat  was  fastened  by  a 
single  button,  and  whose  eyes  glittered  with  a  rather 
wild  expression. 

"  What  a  lot  of  shopkeepers  you  are !  "  said  he. 
"  God  bless  my  soul !  what  does  money  signify  ?  The 
old  masters  did  not  trouble  their  heads  about  the  mil- 
lion— Correggio,  Murillo " 

"  Add  Pellerin,"  said  Sombary. 

But,  without  taking  the  least  notice  of  the  epigram, 
he  went  on  talking  with  such  vehemence  that  Arnoux 
was  forced  to  repeat  twice  to  him : 


"  My  wife  expects  you  on  Thursday.  Don't  for- 

This  remark  recalled  Madame  Arnoux  to  Frederick's 
thoughts.  No  doubt,  she  could  be  reached  through  the 
little  room  near  the  sofa.  Arnoux  had  just  opened  the 
portiere  leading  into  it  to  get  a  pocket-handkerchief, 
and  Frederick  had  seen  a  wash-stand  at  the  far  end  of 
the  apartment. 

But  at  this  point  a  kind  of  muttering  sound  came 
from  the  corner  of  the  chimney-piece ;  it  was  caused  by 
the  personage  who  sat  in  the  armchair  reading  the 
newspaper.  He  was  a  man  of  five  feet  nine  inches  in 
height,  with  rather  heavy  eyelashes,  a  head  of  grey 
hair,  and  an  imposing  appearance;  his  name  was 

"  What's  the  matter  now,  citizen  ?  "  said  Arnoux. 

"  Another  piece  of  rascality  on  the  part  of  the  Gov- 
ernment !  " 

He  was  referring  to  the  dismissal  of  a  schoolmaster. 

Pellerin  again  took  up  his  parallel  between  Michael 
Angelo  and  Shakespeare.  Dittmer  was  leaving  when 
Arnoux  pulled  him  back  in  order  to  put  two  bank  notes 
into  his  hand.  Thereupon  Hussonnet  said,  considering 
this  an  opportune  time  : 

"  Couldn't  you  give  me  an  advance,  my  dear  mas- 
ter  ?" 

But  Arnoux  had  resumed  his  seat,  and  was  severely 
reprimanding  an  old  man  of  mean  aspect,  who  wore  a 
pair  of  blue  spectacles. 

"  Ha !  a  nice  fellow  you  are,  Pere  Isaac !  Here  are 
three  works  cried  down,  destroyed !  Everybody  is 
laughing  at  me !  People  know  what  they  are  now ! 
What  can  I  do  with  them  ?  I'll  have  to  send  them  off 
to  California — or  to  the  devil-!  Hold  your  tongue!  " 

The  specialty  of  this  old  worthy  consisted  in  attach- 


ing  the  signatures  of  the  great  masters  to  pictures. 
Arnoux  refused  to  pay  him,  and  dismissed  him  in  a 
brutal  fashion.  Then,  with  an  entire  change  of  man- 
ner, he  bowed  to  a  gentleman  of  affectedly  grave  de- 
meanour, who  wore  whiskers  and  displayed  a  white 
tie  around  his  neck  and  the  cross  of  the  Legion  of  Hon- 
our over  his  breast. 

With  his  elbow  resting  on  the  window-fastening,  he 
talked  to  him  for  a  long  time  in  honeyed  tones.  At  last 
he  exclaimed : 

"  Ah !  well,  I  am  not  bothered  with  brokers,  Count." 

The  nobleman  gave  way,  and  Arnoux  paid  him  down 
twenty-five  louis.  As  soon  as  he  had  gone : 

"  What  a  plague  these  big  lords  are !  " 

"A  lot  of  scoundrels!  "  muttered  Regimbart. 

As  it  grew  later,  Arnoux  became  more  busy.  He 
classified  articles,  tore  open  letters,  set  out  accounts  in 
a  row ;  at  the  sound  of  hammering  in  the  warehouse  he 
went  out  to  look  after  the  packing;  then  he  returned 
to  his  ordinary  work ;  and,  while  he  kept  his  steel  pen 
running  over  the  paper,  he  indulged  in  sharp  witti- 
cisms. He  had  an  invitation  to  dine  with  his  lawyer 
that  evening,  and  was  starting  next  day  for  Belgium. 

The  door  near  the  sofa  flew  open,  and  a  tall,  thin 
woman  entered  with  abrupt  movements,  which  made 
all  the  trinkets  of  her  watch  rattle  under  her  black  taf- 
feta gown. 

It  was  the  woman  of  whom  Frederick  had  caught  a 
glimpse  last  summer  at  the  Palais-Royal.  Some  of 
those  present,  addressing  her  by  name,  shook  hands 
with  her.  Hussonnet  had  at  last  managed  to  extract 
fifty  francs  from  his  employer.  The  clock  struck  seven. 

All  rose  to  go. 

Arnoux  told  Pellerin  to  remain,  and  accompanied 
Mademoiselle  Vatnaz  into  the  dressing-room. 


Frederick  could  not  hear  what  they  said ;  they  spoke 
in  whispers.  Presently,  the  woman's  voice  was  raised : 

"  I  have  been  waiting  ever  since  the  job  was  done, 
six  months  ago." 

There  was  a  long  silence,  and  then  Mademoiselle 
Yatnaz  reappeared.  Arnoux  had  again  promised  her 

"  Oh !  oh  !  later,  we  shall  see !  " 

"  Good-bye !  happy  man,"  said  she,  as  she  was  go- 
ing out. 

Arnoux  quickly  reentered  the  dressing-room,  rubbed 
some  cosmetic  over  his  moustaches,  raised  his  braces, 
stretched  his  straps ;  and  said,  while  he  was  washing 
his  hands: 

"  I  would  require  two  over  the  door  at  two  hundred 
and  fifty  apiece,  in  Boucher's  style.  Is  that  under- 

"  Very  well,"  said  the  artist,  his  face  reddening. 

''  Good !  and  don't  forget  my  wife !  " 

Frederick  accompanied  Pellerin  to  the  end  of  the 
Faubourg  Poissonniere,  and  asked  his  permission  to 
call  on  him  sometimes,  a  favour  which  was  graciously 

Pellerin  read  numerous  works  on  aesthetics,  in  order 
to  find  out  the  true  theory  of  the  Beautiful,  convinced 
that,  when  he  had  discovered  it,  he  would  produce 
masterpieces.  He  had  surrounded  himself  with  every 
imaginable  auxiliary — drawings,  plaster-casts,  models, 
engravings ;  and  he  kept  searching  about,  eating  his 
heart  out.  Tormented  by  the  desire  for  glory,  and 
wasting  his  days  in  discussions,  believing  in  a  thousand 
fooleries — in  systems,  in  criticisms,  in  the  importance 
of  a  regulation  or  a  reform  in  the  domain  of  Art — he 
had  at  fifty  as  yet  produced  nothing  save  mere  sketches. 

On  entering  his  studio  one's  attention  was  directed 


toward  two  large  pictures,  in  which  the  first  tones  of 
colour  laid  on  here  and  there  made  on  the  white  canvas 
spots  of  brown,  red,  and  blue.  Overhead  was  a  net- 
work of  lines  in  chalk,  like  stitches  of  thread  repeated 
twenty  times ;  it  was  impossible  to  understand.  Pel- 
lerin  explained  the  subject  of  these  two  compositions 
by  indicating  with  his  thumb  the  portions  that  were 
lacking.  The  first  was  intended  to  represent  "  The 
Madness  of  Nebuchadnezzar,"  and  the  second  "  The 
Burning  of  Rome  by  Nero."  Frederick  expressed  ad- 
miration of  them. 

He  admired  academies  of  women  with  dishevelled 
hair,  landscapes  abounding  in  trunks  of  trees,  twisted 
by  the  storm ;  and,  above  all,  freaks  of  the  pen,  imita- 
tions from  memory  of  Callot,  Rembrandt,  or  Goya,  of 
which  he  did  not  know  the  models.  Pellerin  no  longer 
set  any  value  on  these  works  of  his  youth.  He  was 
now  all  in  favour  of  the  grand  style ;  he  dogmatised 
eloquently  about  Phidias  and  Winckelmann.  The  ob- 
jects around  him  strengthened  the  force  of  his  lan- 
guage ;  a  death's  head  on  a  prie-dieu,  yataghans,  a 
monk's  habit.  Frederick  put  on  the  latter. 

Arriving  early  one  day,  he  surprised  the  artist  in  his 
wretched  folding-bed,  which  was  hidden  from  view  by 
a  strip  of  tapestry ;  for  Pellerin  went  to  bed  late,  being 
an  assiduous  frequenter  of  the  theatres.  An  old  wo- 
man in  tatters  attended  on  him.  He  dined  at  a  cook- 
shop,  and  lived  without  a  mistress. 

But  why  had  he  never  chanced  to  speak  of  Madame 
Arnoux?  As  for  her  husband,  at  one  time  he  called 
Arnoux  a  decent  fellow,  at  other  times  a  charlatan. 
Frederick  was  waiting  for  some  disclosures  on  his  part. 

One  day,  while  looking  over  one  of  the  portfolios  in 
the  studio,  he  thought  he  could  trace  in  the  portrait  of 
a  female  Bohemian  sonv  resemblance  to  Mademoiselle 


Vatnaz;  and,  as  he  felt  interested  in  this  lady,  he  de- 
sired to  know  her  exact  social  position. 

She  had  been,  at  one  time,  as  far  as  Pellerin  could 
ascertain,  a  schoolmistress  in  the  provinces.  She  now 
gave  lessons  in  Paris,  and  tried  to  write  for  the  small 

Frederick  suggested  that  one  would  imagine  from 
her  manners  with  Arnoux  that  she  was  his  mistress. 

"  Pshaw !  he  has  others !  " 

Then,  turning  away  his  face,  which  reddened  with 
shame  at  the  baseness  of  the  suggestion,  the  young  man 
replied,  with  a  swaggering  air : 

"  Very  likely  his  wife  gets  even  with  him?  " 

"  Not  at  all ;  she  is  virtuous." 

Frederick  again  experienced  a  feeling  of  compunc- 
tion, and  the  result  was  that  his  attendance  at  the  office 
of  the  art  journal  became  more  frequent  than  before. 

The  big  letters  which  formed  the  name  of  Arnoux 
on  the  marble  plate  above  the  shop  seemed  to  him 
quite  peculiar  and  pregnant  with  significance,  like  some 
sacred  writing.  The  wide  footpath,  by  its  descent, 
facilitated  his  approach ;  the  door  almost  opened  of  its 
own  accord ;  and  the  handle,  smooth  to  the  touch,  gave 
him  the  sensation  of  friendly  and,  as  it  were,  intelligent 
fingers  clasping  his.  Unconsciously,  he  became  as 
regular  as  Regimbart. 

Every  day  Regimbart  seated  himself  in  the  chimney- 
corner,  in  his  armchair,  got  hold  of  the  National,  and 
kept  possession  of  it,  expressing  his  thoughts  by  ex- 
clamations or  by  shrugs  of  the  shoulders. 

At  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning  he  descended  the 
heights  of  Montmartre,  in  order. to  imbibe  white  wine 
in  the  Rue  Notre  Dame  des  Victoires.  A  late  break- 
fast, after  several  games  of  billiards,  occupied  time 
till  three  o'clock.  He  then  directed  his  steps  toward  the 


Passage  des  Panoramas,  where 'he  had  a  glass  of  ab- 
sinthe. After  the  sitting  in  Arnoux's  shop,  he  entered 
the  Bordelais  smoking-divan,  where  he  swallowed  some 
bitters ;  then,  rather  than  return  home  to  his  wife,  he 
preferred  to  dine  alone  in  a  little  cafe  in  the  Rue  Gail- 
Ion,  where  he  desired  them  to  serve  up  to  him  "  house- 
hold dishes,  natural  things."  Finally,  he  made  his  way 
to  another  billiard-room,  and  remained  there  till  mid- 
night ;  in  fact,  till  one  o'clock  in  the  morning,  up  to  the 
last  moment,  when,  the  gas  being  put  out  and  the  win- 
dow-shutters fastened,  the  master  of  the  establishment, 
worn  out,  begged  him  to  leave. 

And  it  was  not  the  love  of  drinking  that  attracted 
Citizen  Regimbart  to  these  places,  but  the  inveterate 
habit  of  talking  politics  at  such  resorts. 

Arnoux  appeared  to  have  a  very  great  esteem  for 
him.  One  day  he  said  to  Frederick : 

"  He  knows  a  lot,  I  can  tell  you.  He  is  an  able  man." 

On  another  occasion  Regimbart  spread  over  his  desk 
papers  relating  to  the  kaolin  mines  in  Brittany.  Arnoux 
referred  to  his  own  experience  on  the  subject. 

Frederick  showed  himself  more  ceremonious  toward 
Regimbart,  going  so  far  as  to  invite  him  from  time  to 
time  to  join  him  in  a  glass  of  absinthe ;  and,  although 
he  considered  him  a  stupid  man,  he  often  remained  a 
full  hour  in  his  company  solely  because  he  was  Jacques 
Arnoux's  friend. 

After  pushing  forward  some  contemporary  masters 
early  in  their  career,  Arnoux,  the  picture-dealer, 
a  man  of  progressive  ideas,  had  tried,  while  clinging 
to  his  artistic  ways,  to  extend  his  pecuniary  profits. 
His  object  was  to  emancipate  the  fine  arts,  to  get  the 
sublime  at  a  cheap  price.  Over  every  industry  asso- 
ciated with  Parisian  luxury  he  exercised  an  influence 
which  proved  advantageous  with  respect  to  little  things, 


but  fatal  with  respect  to  great  things.  With  his  mania 
for  pandering  to  public  opinion,  he  made  clever  artists 
swerve  from  their  true  path,  corrupted  the  strong,  ex- 
hausted the  weak,  and  won  distinction  for  those  of 
mediocre  talent;  he  set  them  up  with  the  assistance  of 
his  connections  and  of  his  magazine.  Tyros  in  paint- 
ing were  ambitious  to  see  their  works  in  his  shop- 
window,  and  upholsterers  brought  specimens  of  furni- 
ture to  his  house.  Frederick  regarded  him,  at  the  one 
time,  as  a  millionaire,  as  a  dilettante,  and  as  a  man  of 
action.  However,  he  noticed  many  things  that  rilled 
him  with  astonishment,  for  my  lord  Arnoux  was  rather 
sly  in  his  commercial  transactions. 

He  received  from  the  very  heart  of  Germany  or  of 
Italy  a  picture  purchased  in  Paris  for  fifteen  hundred 
francs,  and,  exhibiting  an  invoice  that  brought  the 
price  up  to  four  thousand,  he  sold  it  over  again  for 
three  thousand  five  hundred.  One  of  his  regular  tricks 
with  painters  was  to  exact  as  a  drink-allowance  an 
abatement  in  the  purchase-money  of  their  pictures,  un- 
der the  pretence  that  he  would  bring  out  an  engraving 
of  it.  He  always,  when  selling  such  pictures,  made  a 
profit  by  the  abatement;  but  the  engraving  never  ap- 
peared. To  those  who  complained  that  he  had  taken 
an  advantage  of  them,  he  would  reply  by  a  slap  on  the 
stomach.  Generous  in  other  ways,  however,  he  squan- 
dered money  on  cigars  for  his  acquaintances,  "  thee'd  " 
and  "  thou'd  "  persons  who  were  unknown,  displayed 
enthusiasm  about  a  work  or  a  man ;  and,  after  that, 
sticking  to  his  opinion,  and,  regardless  of  consequences, 
spared  no  expense  in  journeys,  correspondence,  and 
advertising.  He  considered  himself  very  upright,  and, 
yielding  to  an  irresistible  impulse  to  unbosom  himself, 
ingenuously  told  his  friends  about  certain  indelicate 
acts  of  which  he  had  been  guilty.  Once,  in  order  to 


annoy  a  member  of  his  own  trade  who  inaugurated 
another  art  journal  with  a  big  banquet,  he  asked  Fred- 
erick to  write,  under  his  own  eyes,  a  little  before  the 
hour  fixed  for  the  entertainment,  letters  to  the  guests 
recalling  the  invitations. 

"  This  impugns  nobody's  honour,  you  understand  ?  " 

And  the  young  man  did  not  dare  to  refuse  the  ser- 

Next  day,  on  entering  with  Hussonnet  M.  Arnoux's 
office,  Frederick  saw  through  the  door  (the  one  open- 
ing on  the  staircase)  the  hem  of  a  lady's  dress  disap- 

"  A  thousand  pardons !  "  said  Hussonnet.  "  If  I  had 
known  that  there  were  women " 

"  Oh !  that  one  is  my  own,"  replied  Arnoux.  "  She 
just  came  in  to  pay  me  a  visit  as  she  was  passing." 

"  You  don't  say  so !  "  said  Frederick. 

"  Why,  yes ;  she  is  going  back  home  again." 

The  charm  of  the  surroundings  was  suddenly  with- 
drawn. That  which  had  seemed  to  him  to  be  diffused 
vaguely  through  the  place  had  now  vanished — or, 
rather,  it  had  never  been  there.  He  felt  an  infinite 
amazement,  and,  as  it  were,  the  painful  sensation  of 
having  been  betrayed. 

Arnoux,  while  rummaging  about  in  his  drawer, 
smiled.  Was  he  laughing  at  him  ?  The  clerk  laid  down 
a  bundle  of  moist  papers  on  the  table. 

"  Ha !  the  placards,"  exclaimed  the  picture-dealer. 
"  I  am  not  ready  to  dine  this  evening." 

Regimbart  took  up  his  hat. 

"  What,  are  you  leaving?  " 

"  Seven  o'clock,"  said  Regimbart. 

Frederick  followed  him. 

At  the  corner  of  the  Rue  Montmartre,  he  looked 
back.  He  glanced  toward  the  windows  of  the  first 


fioor,  and  he  laughed  internally  with  self-pity  as  he  re- 
called to  mind  with  what  love  he  had  so  often  contem- 
plated them.  Where,  then,  did  she  reside?  How  would 
he  ever  meet  her  now?  Once  more  the  object  of  his 
desire  was  encompassed  by  a  solitude  more  immense 
than  ever! 

"  Are  you  going  to  take  it  ?  "  asked  Regimbart. 

"  To  take  what  ?  " 

"  The  absinthe." 

And,  yielding  to  his  importunities,  Frederick  allowed 
himself  to  be  led  toward  the  Bordelais  smoking-divan. 
Whilst  his  companion,  leaning  on  his  elbow,  was  star- 
ing at  the  decanter,  he  was  turning  his  eyes  to  the  right 
and  to  the  left.  He  caught  a  glimpse  of  Pellerin's  pro- 
file on  the  footpath  outside ;  the  painter  gave  a  quick 
tap  at  the  window-pane,  and  he  had  scarcely  sat  down 
when  Regimbart  asked  him  why  they  no  longer  saw 
him  at  the  office  of  L'Art  Industriel. 

"  May  I  perish  before  ever  I  go  back  there  again. 
The  fellow  is  a  brute  a  mere  tradesman,  a  wretch,  a 
downright  rogue !  " 

These  insulting  words  harmonised  with  Frederick's 
present  angry  mood.  Nevertheless,  he  was  wounded, 
for  it  seemed  to  him  that  they  hit  at  Madame  Arnoux 
more  or  less. 

"  Why,  what  has  Arnoux  done  to  you  ?  "  said  Re- 

Pellerin  stamped  with  his  foot  on  the  ground,  and  his 
only  response  was  an  energetic  puff. 

He  had  been  devoting  himself  to  artistic  work  of  a 
kind  that  he  did  not  care  to  connect  his  name  with,  such 
as  portraits  for  two  crayons,  or  pasticcios  from  the 
great  masters  for  amateurs  of  limited  knowledge ;  and, 
as  he  felt  humiliated  by  these  inferior  productions,  he 
preferred  usually  to  hold  his  tongue  on  the  subject. 


But  "  Arnoux's  dirty  conduct  "  exasperated  him.  He 
had  to  relieve  his  feelings. 

In  accordance  with  an  order,  which  had  been  given 
in  Frederick's  very  presence,  he  had  brought  Arnoux 
two  pictures.  Thereupon  the  dealer  took  the  liberty  of 
criticising  them.  He  found  fault  with  the  composition, 
the  colouring,  and  the  drawing — above  all,  the  draw- 
ing; he  would  not,  in  short,  take  them  at  any  price. 
But,  driven  to  extremities  by  a  bill  falling  due,  Pellerin 
had  to  give  them  to  the  Jew  Isaac ;  and,  a  fortnight 
later,  Arnoux  himself  sold  them  to  a  Spaniard  for  two 
thousand  francs. 

"  Not  a  sou  less !  What  rascality !  and,  faith,  he  is 
always  doing  things  just  as  bad.  One  of  these  morn- 
ings we'll  see  him  in  the  dock !  " 

"  How  you  exaggerate !  "  said  Frederick,  in  a  timid 

"  Come,  now,  that's  good  ;  I  exaggerate !  "  exclaimed 
the  artist,  giving  the  table  a  great  blow  with  his  fist. 

This  violence  completely  restored  the  young  man's 
self-command.  No  doubt  he  might  have  acted  more 
generously ;  still,  if  Arnoux  found  these  two  pic- 

"  Bad,  say  it!  Are  you  then  a  judge  of  them?  Is 
that  your  profession  ?  Now,  you  know,  my  boy,  I  don't 
allow  this  sort  of  thing  on  the  part  of  mere  amateurs." 

"  Ah,  well,  it's  none  of  my  business,"  said  Frederick. 

"  Then,  what  interest  have  you  in  defending  him  ?  " 
returned  Pellerin,  coldly. 

The  young  man  faltered : 

"  Well — since  I  am  his  friend — 

"  Go,  and  give  him  a  hug  for  me.    Good  evening !  " 

And  the  painter  rushed  away  in  a  rage,  and,  of 
course,  without  paying  for  his  drink. 

Frederick,  whilst  defending  Arnoux,  had  convinced 


himself.  In  the  heat  of  his  eloquence,  he  was  filled  with 
tenderness  toward  this  man,  so  intelligent  and  kind, 
whom  his  friends  calumniated,  and  who  was  now  aban- 
doned by  them.  He  could  not  resist  a  strange  impulse 
to  go  at  once  and  see  him  again.  Ten  minutes  later  he 
pushed  open  the  door  of  the  picture-warehouse. 

Arnoux  was  preparing,  with  the  assistance  of  his 
clerks,  some  huge  placards  for  an  exhibition  of  pic- 

"  Halloa !  what  brings  you  back  again  ?  " 

This  question,  simple  though  it  was,  embarrassed 
Frederick,  and,  at  a  loss  for  an  answer,  he  asked 
whether  they  had  happened  to  find  a  notebook  of  his 
— a  little  notebook  with  a  blue  leather  cover. 

"  The  one  that  you  put  your  letters  to  women  in  ?  " 
said  Arnoux. 

Frederick,  blushing  like  a  young  girl,  protested 
against  such  an  assumption. 

"  Your  verses,  then  ?  "  returned  the  picture-dealer. 

He  was  handling  the  pictures  that  were  to  be  ex- 
hibited, examining  their  form,  colouring,  and  frames ; 
and  Frederick  felt  more  and  more  irritated  by  his  air 
of  abstraction,  and  particularly  by  the  appearance  of 
his  hands — large  hands,  rather  soft,  with  flat  nails.  At 
length,  M.  Arnoux  arose,  and  saying,  "  That's  disposed 
of !  "  he  chucked  the  young  man  familiarly  under  the 
chin.  Frederick  was  offended  at  this  liberty,  and  re- 
coiled a  pace  or  two ;  then  he  made  a  dash  for  the  shop- 
door,  and  passed  out  through  it,  as  he  imagined,  for  the 
last  time  in  his  life.  Madame  Arnoux  herself  had  been 
lowered  in  his  mind  by  the  vulgarity  of  her  husband. 

During  the  same  week  he  got  a  letter  from  Des- 
lauriers',  informing  him  that  the  clerk  would  be  in  Paris 
on  the  following  Thursday.  Then  he  flung  himself 
back  violently  on  this  affection  as  one  of  a  more  solid 


and  lofty  character.  A  man  of  this  sort  was  worth  all 
the  women  in  the  world.  He  would  no  longer  have  any 
need  of  Regimbart,  of  Pellerin,  of  Hussonnet,  of  any- 
one !  In  order  to  provide  his  friend  with  as  comfort- 
able quarters  as  possible,  he  bought  an  iron  bedstead 
and  a  second  armchair,  stripping  off  some  of  his  own 
bed-covering  to  furnish  the  new  one  properly.  On 
Thursday  morning  he  was  dressing  himself  to  go  to 
meet  Deslauriers  when  there  was  a  ring  at  the  door. 

Arnoux  entered. 

"  Just  a  word.  Yesterday  I  got  a  fine  trout  from 
Geneva.  We  expect  you  to-night — at  seven  o'clock 
sharp.  The  address  is  the  Rue  de  Choiseul  24  bis. 
Don't  forget !  " 

Frederick  was  obliged  to  sit  down ;  his  knees  were 
tottering  under  him.  He  repeated  to  himself,  "  At 
last !  at  last !  "  Then  he  wrote  to  his  tailor,  to  his 
hatter,  and  to  his  bootmaker ;  and  he  despatched  these 
three  notes  by  three  different  messengers. 

The  key  turned  in  the  lock,  and  the  door-keeper 
appeared  with  a  trunk  on  his  shoulder. 

Frederick,  on  seeing  Deslauriers,  began  to  tremble 
like  an  adulteress  before  her  husband. 

"  What  has  happened  to  you  ?  "  said  Deslauriers. 
"  Surely  you  got  my  letter  ?  " 

Frederick  had  not  enough  energy  left  to  lie.  He 
flung  himself  on  his  friend's  breast. 

Then  the  clerk  told  his  story.  His  father  tried  to 
avoid  giving  an  account  of  the  expense  of  tutelage, 
thinking  that  the  period  limited  for  rendering  such  ac- 
counts was  ten  years ;  but,  well  versed  in  legal  pro- 
cedure, Deslauriers  had  managed  to  get  the  share 
coming  to  him  from  his  mother  into  his  own  posses- 
sion— seven  thousand  francs  clear — which  he  had  there 
with  him  in  an  old  pocket-book. 


"  'Tis  a  reserve  fund,  in  case  of  misfortune.  I  must 
think  over  the  best  way  of  investing  it,  and  find  quar- 
ters for  myself  to-morrow  morning.  To-day  I'm  per- 
fectly free,  and  am  entirely  at  your  service,  my  old 

"  Oh,  don't  put  yourself  about,"  said  Frederick.  "  If 
you  had  anything  of  importance  to  attend  to  this  even- 
ing » 

"  Come,  now !    I  would  be  a  selfish  wretch " 

This  epithet,  flung  out  at  random,  touched  Freder- 
ick to  the  quick,  like  a  reproach. 

The  door-keeper  had  placed  on  the  table  close  to  the 
fire  some  chops,  cold  meat,  a  large  lobster,  some  sweets 
for  dessert,  and  two  bottles  of  Bordeaux. 

Deslauriers  was  touched  by  these  excellent  prepara- 
tions to  welcome  his  arrival. 

"  Upon  my  word,  you  are  treating  me  like  a  king !  " 

They  talked  about  the  past  and  about  the  future; 
and,  from  time  to  time,  they  grasped  each  other's 
hands  across  the  table,  gazing  at  each  other  tenderly. 

But  a  messenger  came  with  a  new  hat.  Deslauriers, 
in  a  loud  tone,  remarked  that  it  was  very  showy.  Next 
came  the  tailor  himself  to  fit  on  the  coat,  to  which  he 
had  given  a  touch  with  the  smoothing-iron. 

"  One  would  imagine  you  were  about  to  be  mar- 
ried," said  Deslauriers. 

An  hour  later,  a  third  individual  appeared  on  the 
scene,  and  drew  forth  from  a  big  black  bag  a  pair  of 
shining  patent  leather  boots.  While  Frederick  was 
trying  them  on,  the  bootmaker  indirectly  drew  atten- 
tion to  the  shoes  of  the  young  man  from  the  country. 

"  Does  Monsieur  require  anything  ?  " 

"  No,  thanks,"  replied  the  clerk,  drawing  behind  his 
chair  his  old  shoes  fastened  with  strings. 

This  humiliating  incident  annoyed  Frederick.     At 


length  he  exclaimed,  as  if  the  idea  had  suddenly  taken 
possession  of  him : 

"  Ha!  deuce  take  it!     I  was  forgetting." 

"  What  is  it,  pray  ?  " 

"  I  have  to  dine  in  the  city  this  evening." 

"  At  the  Dambreuses'  ?  Why  did  you  never  say 
anything  to  me  about  them  in  your  letters  ?  " 

"  It  is  not  at  the  Dambreuses',  but  at  the  Arnoux's." 

"  You  should  have  let  me  know  beforehand,"  said 
Deslauriers.  "  I  would  have  come  a  day  later." 

"  Impossible,"  returned  Frederick,  abruptly.  "  I 
only  received  the  invitation  this  morning." 

And  to  redeem  his  error  and  distract  his  friend's 
mind  from  the  occurrence,  he  proceeded  to  unfasten 
the  tangled  cords  around  the  trunk,  and  to  arrange  the 
contents  in  the  chest  of  drawers,  expressing  his  will- 
ingness to  give  him  his  owrn  bed,  and  offering  to  sleep 
himself  in  the  dressing-room  bedstead.  Then,  at  four 
o'clock,  he  began  the  preparations  for  his  toilet. 

"  You  have  plenty  of  time,"  said  the  other. 

At  last  he  was  dressed  and  off  he  went. 

"  That's  the  way  with  the  rich,"  thought  Deslauriers. 

And  he  went  to  dine  in  the  Rue  Saint-Jacques,  at  a 
little  restaurant  kept  by  a  man  he  knew. 

Frederick  stopped  several  times  while  going  up  the 
stairs,  so  violently  did  his  heart  beat.  Arnoux,  who 
was  mounting  the  stairs  behind  him,  took  him  by  the 
arm  and  led  him  in. 

Mademoiselle  Marthe  came  to  announce  that  her 
mamma  was  dressing.  Arnoux  raised  her  in  his  arms 
and  kissed  her;  then,  as  he  wished  to  select  certain 
bottles  of  wine  from  the  cellar  himself,  he  left  Freder- 
ick with  the  little  girl. 

She  had  grown  considerably  since  the  trip  in  the 
steamboat.  Her  dark  hair  descended  in  long  ringlets, 


which  curled  over  her  bare  arms.  Her  dress,  more 
fluffed  out  than  the  petticoat  of  a  danseusc,  disclosed 
her  rosy  calves,  and  her  pretty  childlike  form  had  all 
the  fresh  odour  of  a  bunch  of  flowers.  She  received 
the  young  gentleman's  compliments  with  a  coquettish 
air,  fixed  on  him  her  large,  dreamy  eyes,  then  slipping 
on  the  carpet,  disappeared  like  a  cat. 

After  this  he  no  longer  felt  ill  at  ease.  The  globes 
of  the  lamps,  covered  with  a  paper  lace-work,  sent 
forth  a  white  light,  softening  the  colour  of  the  walls, 
hung  with  mauve  satin.  It  was  altogether  a  peaceful 
sight,  suggesting  the  idea  of  propriety  and  innocent 
family  life. 

Arnoux  returned,  and  at  the  same  moment  Madame 
Arnoux  appeared  at  the  other  doorway.  As  she  was 
enveloped  in  shadow,  the  young  man  could  at  first 
distinguish  only  her  head.  She  wore  a  black  velvet 
gown,  and  in  her  hair  she  had  fastened  a  long  Al- 
gerian cap,  in  a  red  silk  net,  which  coiling  round  her 
comb,  fell  over  her  left  shoulder. 

Arnoux  introduced  Frederick. 

"  Oh !  I  remember  Monsieur  perfectly,"  she  re- 

Then  the  guests  arrived,  nearly  all  at  the  same  time 
— Dittmer,  Lovarias,  Burrieu,  the  composer  Rosen- 
wald,  the  poet  Theophile  Lorris,  two  art  critics,  col- 
leagues of  Hussonnet,  a  paper  manufacturer,  and  in 
the  rear  the  illustrious  Pierre  Paul  Meinsius,  the  last 
representative  of  the  grand  school  of  painting,  who 
blithely  carried  along  with  his  glory  his  forty-five  years 
and  his  big  paunch. 

When  they  were  passing  into  the  dining-room, 
Madame  Arnoux  took  his  arm.  A  chair  had  been  left 
vacint  fo-  Pellerin.  Arnoux,  though  he  took  advan- 
tage of  him  in  business,  was  fond  of  him.  Besides,  he 


was  afraid  of  his  terrible  tongue,  so  much  so  that,  in 
order  to  soften  him,  he  had  printed  a  portrait  of  him 
in  L'Art  Industricl,  accompanied  by  exaggerated  eu- 
logies ;  and  Pellerin,  more  sensitive  about  distinction 
than  about  money,  made  a  breathless  appearance  about 
eight  o'clock.  Frederick  judged  that  they  had  been  a 
long  time  reconciled. 

He  liked  the  company,  the  dishes,  everything.  He 
had  to  make  his  choice  between  ten  sorts  of  mustard. 
He  partook  of  daspachio,  of  curry,  of  ginger,  of  Cor- 
sican  blackbirds,  and  a  species  of  Roman  macaroni 
called  lasagna ;  he  drank  extraordinary  wines,  lip-f  raeli 
and  tokay.  Arnoux  indeed  prided  himself  on  enter- 
taining people  in  good  style.  With  an  eye  to  the  pro- 
curement of  eatables,  he  paid  court  to  mail-coach 
drivers,  and  was  in  league  with  the  cooks  of  great 
houses,  who  divulged  to  him  the  secrets  of  rare  sauces. 

But  Frederick  was  particularly  entertained  by  the 
conversation.  His  taste  for  travelling  was  tickled  by 
Dittmer,  who  talked  about  the  East ;  he  gratified  his 
curiosity  about  theatrical  matters  by  listening  to  Rosen- 
wald's  chat  about  the  opera  ;  and  the  atrocious  existence 
of  Bohemia  assumed  for  him  a  droll  aspect  when  pre- 
sented through  the  gaiety  of  Hussonnet,  who  related, 
in  a  picturesque  fashion,  how  he  had  spent  an  entire 
winter  with  no  food  except  Dutch  cheese.  Then  a  dis- 
cussion between  Lovarias  and  Burrieu  about  the 
Florentine  School  gave  him  new  ideas  with  regard  to 
masterpieces  and  widened  his  horizon.  He  found  dif- 
ficulty in  restraining  his  enthusiasm  when  Pellerin 
exclaimed : 

"  Don't  talk  to  me  about  your  hideous  reality ! 
What  does  it  mean — reality?  Some  see  things  black, 
others  blue — the  multitude  sees  them  brute-fashion. 
There  is  nothing  less  natural  than  Michael  Angelo ; 


there  is  nothing  more  powerful !  The  anxiety  about 
eternal  truth  is  a  mark  of  contemporary  baseness ;  and 
art  will  become,  if  things  go  on  in  that  way,  a  sort 
of  poor  joke  as  much  below  religion  as  it  is  below 
poetry,  and  as  much  below  politics  as  it  is  below  busi- 
ness. You  will  never  reach  its  end — yes,  its  end! 
— which  is  to  cause  within  us  an  impersonal  exalta- 
tion, with  petty  works,  in  spite  of  all  your  finished 
execution.  Look,  for  instance,  at  Bassolier's  pictures : 
they  are  pretty  coquettish,  spruce,  and  by  no  means 
dull.  You  might  put  them  into  your  pocket,  carry 
them  with  you  when  you  are  travelling.  Notaries  buy 
them  for  twenty  thousand  francs,  while  pictures  of  the 
ideal  type  bring  three  sous.  But,  without  ideality, 
there  is  no  grandeur ;  without  grandeur  there  is  no 
beauty.  Olympus  is  a  mountain.  The  most  effective 
monument  will  always  be  the  Pyramids.  Exuberance 
is  better  than  taste ;  the  desert  is  better  than  a  street- 
pavement,  and  a  savage  is  surely  better  than  a  hair- 
dresser !  " 

Frederick,  as  these  words  fell  upon  his  ear,  glanced 
towards  Madame  Arnoux.  They  sank  into  his  soul 
like  metals  falling  into  a  furnace,  added  to  his  passion, 
and  supplied  the  material  of  love. 

His  chair  was  three  seats  below  hers  on  the  same 
side.  From  time  to  time,  she  bent  forward  a  little, 
turning  aside  her  head  to  address  a  few  words  to  her 
little  daughter ;  and  as  she  smiled  on  these  occasions, 
a  dimple  appeared  in  her  cheek,  giving  to  her  face  an 
expression  of  dainty  good-nature. 

As  soon  as  the  time  came  for  the  gentlemen  to  take 
their  wine,  she  disappeared.  The  conversation  became 
more  free  and  easy.  M.  Arnoux  shone  in  it,  and 
Frederick  was  amazed  at  the  cynicism  of  men.  How- 
ever, their  preoccupation  with  women  established  be- 


tween  them  and  him,  as  it  were,  an  equality,  which 
raised  him  in  his  own  estimation. 

When  they  had  returned  to  the  drawing-room,  he 
took  up,  to  keep  himself  in  countenance,  one  of  the 
albums  which  lay  about  on  the  table.  The  great  artists 
of  the  day  had  illustrated  them  with  drawings,  had 
written  in  them  snatches  of  verse  or  prose,  or  simply 
their  signatures.  In  the  midst  of  famous  names  he 
found  many  that  he  had  never  heard  of  before,  and 
original  thoughts  appeared  only  underneath  a  flood  of 
nonsense.  All  these  effusions  contained  a  more  or 
less  direct  expression  of  homage  toward  Madame 
Arnoux.  Frederick  would  have  been  afraid  to  write 
a  line  beside  them. 

She  went  into  her  boudoir  to  look  at  the  little  chest 
with  silver  clasps  which  he  had  noticed  on  the  mantel- 
shelf. It  was  a  present  from  her  husband,  a  work  of 
the  Renaissance.  Arnoux's  friends  complimented  him, 
and  his  wife  thanked  him.  His  tender  emotions  were 
aroused,  and  before  all  the  guests  he  kissed  her. 

After  this  they  chatted  in  groups  here  and  there. 
The  worthy  Meinsius  was  beside  Madame  Arnoux  in 
an  easy  chair  close  by  the  fire.  She  was  leaning  for- 
ward toward  his  ear;  their  heads  were  almost  touch- 
ing, and  Frederick  would  have  been  glad  to  become 
deaf,  infirm,  and  ugly  if  he  might  thereby  gain  an 
illustrious  name  and  white  hair — in  short,  if  he  only 
happened  to  possess  something  which  would  justify 
such  intimate  association  with  her.  He  began  once 
more  to  eat  out  his  heart,  furious  at  the  idea  of  being 
so  young  a  man. 

But  at  last  she  came  into  the  corner  of  the  drawing- 
room  where  he  was  sitting,  and  asked  him  whether  he 
was  acquainted  with  any  of  the  guests,  whether  he 
was  fond  of  painting,  how  long  he  had  been  a  student 


in  Paris.  Every  word  that  came  out  of  her  mouth 
seemed  to  Frederick  something  entirely  new,  an  ex- 
clusive appendage  of  her  personality.  He  gazed  at 
the  fringes  of  her  head-dress,  the  ends  of  which  car- 
essed her  bare  shoulder,  and  he  was  unable  to  remove 
his  eyes ;  he  plunged  his  soul  into  the  whiteness  of 
that  feminine  flesh,  and  yet  he  did  not  venture  to  raise 
his  eyes  to  glance  at  her  higher,  face  to  face. 

Rosenwald  interrupted  them,  begging  of  Madame 
Arnoux  to  sing  something.  He  played  a  prelude,  she 
waited,  her  lips  opened  slightly,  and  a  sound,  pure, 
long-continued,  silvery,  ascended  into  the  air. 

Frederick  did  not  understand  a  single  one  of  the 
Italian  words.  The  song  began  with  a  grave  meas- 
ure, something  like  church  music,  then  in  a  more  ani- 
mated strain,  with  a  crescendo  movement,  it  broke 
into  repeated  bursts  of  sound,  then  suddenly  subsided, 
and  the  melody  came  back  again  in  a  tender  fashion 
with  a  wide  and  rhythmic  swing. 

She  stood  beside  the  keyboard,  her  arms  hanging 
down  and  a  far-off  look  on  her  face.  Sometimes,  in 
order  to  read  the  music,  she  advanced  her  forehead 
for  a  moment  and  her  eyelashes  moved  to  and  fro. 
Her  contralto  voice  in  the  low  notes  took  a  mournful 
intonation  which  had  a  chilling  effect  on  the  listener, 
and  then  her  beautiful  head,  with  those  great  brows 
of  hers,  bent  over  her  shoulder ;  her  bosom  swelled ; 
her  eyes  widened ;  her  neck,  from  which  roulades  made 
their  escape,  fell  back  as  if  under  aerial  kisses.  She 
flung  out  three  sharp  notes,  came  down  again,  sent 
forth  one  higher  still,  and,  after  a  silence,  finished  with 
an  organ-point. 

Rosenwald  did  not  leave  the  piano.  He  continued 
playing,  to  amuse  himself.  From  time  to  time  a  guest 
stole  away.  At  eleven  o'clock,  as  the  last  of  them  were 


departing,  Arnoux  went  out  along  with  Pellerin,  under 
the  pretext  of  seeing  him  home.  He  was  one  of  those 
people  who  claim  to  be  ill  when  they  do  not  "  take 
a  turn  "  after  dinner.  Madame  Arnoux  had  made  her 
way  toward  the  anteroom.  Dittmer  and  Hussonnet 
bowed  to  her.  She  stretched  out  her  hand  to  them. 
She  did  the  same  to  Frederick;  and  he  felt,  as  it  were, 
something  penetrating  every  particle  of  his  skin. 

He  left  his  friends.  He  wished  to  be  alone.  His 
heart  was  overflowing.  Why  had  she  offered  him 
her  hand  ?  Was  it  a  thoughtless  act,  or  an  encourage- 
ment ?  "  Come  now  !  I  am  mad  !  "  Besides,  what 
did  it  matter,  now  that  he  could  visit  her  entirely  at 
his  ease,  live  in  the  very  atmosphere  she  breathed? 

The  streets  were  deserted.  Now  and  then  a  heavy 
wagon  would  roll  past,  shaking  the  pavements.  Sud- 
denly he  felt  himself  in  the  midst  of  a  circle  of  damp 
air,  and  found  that  he  was  on  the  edge  of  the  quays. 

He  stopped  in  the  middle  of  the  Pont  Neuf,  and, 
taking  off  his  hat  and  exposing  his  chest,  he  drank  in 
the  air.  He  felt  as  if  something  that  was  inexhaustible 
were  ascending  from  the  very  depths  of  his  being,  an 
afflux  of  tenderness  that  enervated  him,  like  the  mo- 
tion of  the  waves  under  his  eyes.  A  church-clock 
slowly  struck  one,  and  had  the  effect  of  a  voice  calling 
out  to  him. 

Then,  he  was  seized  with  one  of  those  shuddering 
sensations  of  the  soul  in  which  one  seems  to  be  trans- 
ported into  a  higher  world.  He  felt,  as  it  were,  en- 
dowed with  some  extraordinary  faculty,  the  purpose 
of  which  he  could  not  determine.  He  seriously  ques- 
tioned himself  whether  he  would  be  a  great  painter 
or  a  great  poet ;  and  he  decided  in  favour  of  painting, 
for  this  profession  would  bring  him  into  closer  contact 
with  Madame  Arnoux.  At  last,  he  had  found  his 


vocation  !  The  goal  of  his  life  was  now  perfectly  clear, 
and  there  could  be  no  mistake  about  the  future. 

When  he  had  closed  his  door,  he  heard  some  one 
snoring  in  the  dark  closet  near  his  apartment.  It  was 
his  friend.  He  no  longer  wasted  a  thought  on  him. 

Looking  in  the  glass  he  contemplated  his  own  face. 
It  appeared  to  him  handsome.  For  a  whole  minute 
he  stood  gazing  at  himself. 



FREDERICK  had  purchased  an  easel,  a  box  of 
paints,  and  brushes  before  twelve  o'clock  the 
following  day.  Pellerin  agreed  to  give  him 
lessons,  and  Frederick  brought  him  to  his  lodgings 
to  see  whether  anything  more  was  needed  among  his 
painting  utensils. 

Deslauriers  was  in,  and  the  second  armchair  was 
occupied  by  a  young  man.  The  clerk  said,  pointing 
towards  him : 

"-'Tis  he  !  There  he  is  !  Senecal !  "  Frederick  did 
not  like  this  young  man.  His  forehead  was  heightened 
by  the  manner  in  which  he  wore  his  hair,  cut  straight 
like  a  brush.  There  was  a  certain  hard,  cold  look  in 
his  grey  eyes ;  and  his  long  black  coat,  his  entire 
costume,  savoured  of  the  pedagogue  and  the  ecclesi- 

They  first  discussed  topics  of  the  moment,  amongst 
others  the  Stabat  of  Rossini.  Senecal,  in  answer  to 
a  question,  stated  that  he  never  went  to  the  theatre. 

Pellerin  opened  the  box  of  colours. 

"Are  these  all  yours?"  said  the  clerk. 

"  Why,  certainly !  " 

"  Well,  really !  What  a  notion  !  "  And  he  leaned 
across  the  table,  at  which  the  mathematical  tutor  was 
turning  over  the  leaves  of  a  volume  of  Louis  Blanc. 
He  had  brought  it  with  him,  and  was  reading  passages 
from  it  in  low  tones,  while  Pellerin  and  Frederick 


examined  together  the  palette,  the  knife,  and  the 
bladders ;  then  the  talk  came  round  to  the  dinner  at 

"  The  picture-dealer,  is  it?  "  asked  Senecal.  "A  nice 
gentleman,  truly !  " 

"  Why,  now  ?  "  said  Pellerin.    Senecal  replied : 

"  A  man  who  makes  money  by  political  turpitude !  " 

And  he  went  on  to  talk  about  a  well-known  litho- 
graph, in  which  all  the  Royal  Family  were  represented 
as  being  engaged  in  edifying  occupations:  Louis 
Philippe  had  a  copy  of  the  Code  in  his  hand ;  the  Queen 
had  a  Catholic  prayer-book;  the  Princesses  were  em- 
broidering ;  the  Due  de  Nemours  was  girding  on  a 
sword ;  M.  de  Joinville  was  showing  a  map  to  his 
young  brothers ;  and  at  one  end  of  the  apartment  could 
be  seen  a  bed  with  two  divisions.  This  picture,  which 
was  entitled  "  A  Good  Family,"  was  a  source  of  de- 
light to  commonplace  middle-class  people,  but  of  grief 
to  patriots. 

Pellerin,  in  a  tone  of  annoyance,  as  if  he  had  been 
himself  the  producer  of  this  work,  observed  by  way  of 
answer  that  every  opinion  had  some  value.  Senecal 
protested :  Art  should  aim  exclusively  at  promoting 
morality  amongst  the  masses!  The  only  subjects  that 
ought  to  be  reproduced  were  those  which  incited  to 
virtuous  actions ;  all  others  were  injurious. 

"  But  that  depends  on  the  execution,"  cried  Pellerin. 
"  I  might  produce  masterpieces." 

"  So  much  the  worse  of  you,  then ;  you  have  no 
right " 


"  No,  Monsieur,  you  have  no  right  to  excite  my 
interest  in  matters  of  which  I  disapprove.  What  need 
have  we  of  laborious  trifles,  from  which  it  is  impos- 
sible to  derive  any  benefit — those  Venuses,  for  instance. 


with  all  your  landscapes  ?  They  contain  no  instruction 
for  the  people  !  Show  us  rather  their  miseries !  arouse 
enthusiasm  in  us  for  their  sacrifices !  Ah,  my  God ! 
there  is  no  lack  of  subjects — the  farm,  the  work- 

Pellerin  stammered  forth  his  indignation  at  this, 
and,  imagining  that  he  had  found  an  argument : 

"  Moliere,  do  you  accept  him  ?  " 

"  Certainly !  "  said  Senecal.  "  I  admire  him  as  the 
precursor  of  the  French  Revolution." 

"  Ha  !  the  Revolution  !  What  art !  Never  was  there 
a  more  pitiable  epoch  !  " 

"  None  greater,  Monsieur !  " 

Pellerin  folded  his  arms,  and  looking  at  him  straight 
in  the  face : 

"  You  have  the  appearance  of  a  famous  member  of 
the  National  Guard  !  " 

His  opponent,  accustomed  to  discussions,  responded : 

"  I  am  not,  and  I  abhor  it  just  as  much  as  you.  But 
with  such  principles  we  corrupt  the  crowd.  This  sort 
of  thing,  however,  is  profitable  to  the  Government.  It 
would  not  be  so  powerful  but  for  the  complicity  of 
rogues  of  that  sort." 

The  painter  commenced  to  defend  the  picture-dealer, 
for  Senecal's  opinions  exasperated  him.  He  even  went 
so  far  as  to  maintain  that  Arnoux  was  really  a  man 
with  a  heart  of  gold,  devoted  to  his  friends,  deeply 
attached  to  his  wife. 

"  Oho !  if  you  offered  him  a  sufficient  sum,  he  would 
not  refuse  to  let  her  serve  as  a  model." 

Frederick  turned  pale. 

"  So  then,  he  has  done  you  some  great  harm,  Mon- 
sieur? " 

"  Me?  no!  I  saw  him  once  at  a  cafe  with  a  friend. 
That's  all." 


Senecal  had  spoken  truly.  But  he  had  his  teeth 
daily  set  on  edge  by  the  announcements  in  L 'Art  In- 
dustricl.  Arnoux  to  him  represented  a  world  which 
he  considered  antagonistic  to  democracy.  An  austere 
Republican,  he  suspected  something  corrupt  in  every 
form  of  elegance,  and  the  more  so  as  he  wanted  noth- 
ing himself  and  was  inflexible  in  his  integrity. 

They  found  some  difficulty  in  resuming  the  con- 
versation. The  painter  soon  recalled  to  mind  his  ap- 
pointment, the  tutor  his  pupils ;  and,  when  they  had 
gone,  after  a  long  silence,  Deslauriers  asked  a  number 
of  questions  about  Arnoux. 

"  You  will  introduce  me  there  later,  will  you  not, 
old  fellow  ?  " 

"  Certainly,"  said  Frederick.  Then  they  talked  about 
settling  themselves.  •  Deslauriers  had  without  much 
trouble  obtained  the  post  of  second  clerk  in  a  solicitor's 
office ;  he  had  also  entered  his  name  for  the  terms  at 
the  Law  School,  and  bought  the  indispensable  books. 
The  life  of  which  they  had  dreamed  for  so  long  now 

It  was  delightful,  owing  to  their  youth,  which  made 
everything  assume  a  favourable  aspect.  As  Deslauriers 
had  said  nothing  relative  to  any  pecuniary  arrange- 
ment, Frederick  did  not  refer  to  the  subject.  He 
helped  to  defray  all  the  expenses,  kept  the  cupboard 
well  stocked,  and  attended  to  all  the  household  require- 
ments ;  but  if  it  happened  to  be  necessary  to  give  the 
doorkeeper  a  rating,  the  clerk  took  that  on  his  own 
shoulders,  still  maintaining  the  part,  which  he  had 
assumed  in  their  college  days,  of  protector  and  senior. 

Separated  all  day  long,  they  met  in  the  evenings. 
Each  took  his  place  at  the  fireside  and  set  about  his 
work.  But  ere  long  it  would  be  interrupted.  Then 
would  follow  endless  outpourings,  unaccountable 


bursts  of  merriment,  and  occasional  disputes  about 
the  lamp  flaring  too  much  or  a  book  being  mislaid, 
momentary  manifestations  of  anger  which  subsided  in 
hearty  laughter. 

While  in  bed  they  left  open  the  door  of  the  little 
room  where  Deslauriers  slept,  and  kept  chattering  to 
each  other. 

When  it  was  not  raining  on  Sunday  they  went  out 
together,  and,  arm  in  arm,  sauntered  through  the 
streets.  The  same  ideas  nearly  always  occurred  to 
them  simultaneously.  Sometimes  they  would  go  on 
chatting  without  noticing  anything  around  them.  Des- 
lauriers longed  for  riches,  as  a  means  for  gaining 
power  over  men. 

Frederick's  ideal  was  to  furnish  for  himself  a  palace 
in  the  Moorish  fashion,  to  spend  his  life  reclining  on 
cashmere  divans,  listening  to  the  murmur  of  a  jet  of 
water,  and  attended  by  negro  pages.  And  these  things, 
of  which  he  had  only  dreamed,  became  in  time  so 
definite  that  he  felt  as  dejected  as  if  he  had  lost  them. 

"  What  is  the  use  of  talking  about  all  these  things," 
said  he,  "  when  we'll  never  have  them?  " 

"Who  knows?"  returned  Deslauriers. 

Despite  his  democratic  views,  he  urged  Frederick 
to  get  an  introduction  into  the  Dambreuses'  house. 

The  other,  by  way  of  objection,  pointed  to  the  failure 
of  his  previous  attempts. 

"  Bah !  go  back  there.  They'll  give  you  an  invi- 
tation !  " 

Toward  the  close  of  the  month  of  March,  they  re- 
ceived amongst  other  bills  that  of  the  restaurant- 
keeper  who  supplied  them  with  dinners.  Frederick, 
not  having  the  entire  amount,  borrowed  a  hundred 
crowns  from  Deslauriers.  A  fortnight  afterward,  he 
renewed  the  same  request,  and  the  clerk  lectured  him 


on  the  extravagant  habits  he  was  contracting  in  the 
Arnoux's  society. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  he  put  no  restraint  upon  him- 
self in  this  respect.  A  view  of  Venice,  a  view  of 
Naples,  and  another  of  Constantinople  occupying  the 
centre  of  three  walls  respectively,  equestrian  subjects 
by  Alfred  de  Dreux  here  and  there,  a  group  by  Pra- 
dier  over  the  mantelpiece,  numbers  of  L'Art  Industriel 
lying  on  the  piano,  and  works  in  boards  on  the  floor 
in  the  corners,  encumbered  the  apartment  to  such  an 
extent  that  it  was  difficult  to  find  a  place  to  lay  a  book 
on,  or  to  move  one's  elbows  about  freely.  Frederick 
maintained  that  he  needed  all  this  for  his  painting. 

He  pursued  his  art-studies  under  Pellerin.  But 
when  he  called  on  the  artist,  the  latter  was  often  out, 
being  accustomed  to  attend  at  every  funeral  and  pub- 
lic occurrence  of  which  an  account  was  given  in  the 
newspapers,  and  so  it  was  that  Frederick  spent  hours 
alone  in  the  studio.  His  eyes  wandering  from  the  task 
at  which  he  was  engaged,  roamed  over  the  shell-work 
on  the  wall,  around  the  objects  of  virtu,  and,  like  a 
traveller  who  has  lost  his  way  in  the  middle  of  a 
wood,  and  whom  every  path  brings  back  to  the  same 
spot,  continually,  he  found  underlying  every  idea  in 
his  mind  the  recollection  of  Madame  Arnoux. 

He  selected  days  for  calling  on  her.  When  he  had 
reached  the  second  floor,  he  would  pause  on  the 
threshold,  doubtful  as  to  whether  he  ought  to  ring 
or  not.  Steps  drew  nigh,  the  door  opened,  and  at  the 
announcement  "  Madame  is  out,"  a  sense  of  relief 
would  come  upon  him,  as  if  a  weight  had  been  lifted 
from  his  heart.  He  met  her,  however.  On  the  first 
occasion  there  were  three  other  ladies  with  her ;  the 
next  time  it  was  in  the  afternoon,  and  Mademoiselle 
Marthe's  writing-master  was  present.  The  men  whom 


Madame  Arnoux  received  were  not  very  punctilious 
about  paying  visits.  For  the  sake  of  prudence  he 
deemed  it  better  not  to  call  again. 

But  he  did  not  fail  to  appear  regularly  at  the  office 
of  L 'Art  Industricl  every  Wednesday  in  order  to  get 
an  invitation  to  the  Thursday  dinners,  and  he  remained 
there  later  than  all  the  others,  even  than  Regimbart, 
right  up  to  the  last  moment,  pretending  to  be  looking 
at  an  engraving  or  to  be  running  his  eye  over  a  news- 
paper. At  last  Arnoux  would  say  to  him,  "  Shall  you 
be  disengaged  to-morrow  evening?"  and,  before  the 
sentence  was  finished,  he  would  give  an  affirmative 
answer.  Arnoux  appeared  to  have  taken  a  fancy,  to 

During  these  dinners  he  scarcely  uttered  a  word ;  he 
kept  gazing  at  her.  She  had  a  little  mole  close  to  her 
temple.  Her  head-bands  were  darker  than  the  rest  of 
her  hair,  and  were  always  a  little  moist  at  the  edges ; 
from  time  to  time  she  stroked  them  with  only  two 
fingers.  He  was  familiar  with  the  shape  of  each  of 
her  nails.  He  took  delight  in  listening  to  the  rustle  of 
her  silk  skirt  as  she  swept  past  doors ;  he  stealthily  in- 
haled the  perfume  that  came  from  her  handkerchief; 
her  comb,  her  gloves,  her  rings  were  for  him  things  of 
special  interest,  important  as  works  of  art,  almost  en- 
dowed with  human  life ;  all  took  possession  of  his 
heart  and  strengthened  his  passion. 

He  had  not  sufficient  self-control  to  conceal  it  from 
Deslauriers.  When  he  came  home  from  Madame 
Arnoux's,  he  would  wake  up  his  friend,  as  if  inad- 
vertently, in  order  to  have  an  opportunity  to  talk  about 

Deslauriers,  who  slept  in  the  little  closet-room,  close 
to  where  they  had  their  water-supply,  would  give  great 
yawns.  Frederick  seated  himself  on  the  side  of  the 


bed.  At  first  he  spoke  about  the  dinner;  then  he  re- 
ferred to  a  thousand  petty  details,  in  which  he  saw 
marks  of  contempt  or  of  affection.  On  one  occasion, 
for  instance,  she  had  refrsed  his  arm,  in  order  to  take 
Dittmer's ;  and  Frederick  gave  vent  to  his  humiliation : 

"  Ah  !  how  stupid  !  " 

Or  else  she  had  called  him  her  "  dear  friend." 

"  Then  go  after  her  gaily !  " 

"  But  I  dare  not,"  said  Frederick. 

"  Well,  then,  think  no  more  about  her !  Good 
night !  " 

Deslauriers  thereupon  turned  on  his  side,  and  fell 
asleep.  He  felt  utterly  unable  to  comprehend  this  love, 
which  seemed  to  him  the  last  weakness  of  adolescence ; 
and,  as  his  own  society  was  apparently  not  enough  to 
satisfy  Frederick,  he  conceived  the  idea  of  bringing 
together,  once  a  week,  those  whom  they  both  recog- 
nised as  friends. 

They  came  on  Saturday  about  nine  o'clock.  The 
three  Algerine  curtains  were  carefully  drawn.  The 
lamp  and  four  wax-lights  were  burning.  In  the  mid- 
dle of  the  table  the  tobacco-pot,  filled  with  pipes,  dis- 
played itself  between  the  beer-bottles,  the  tea-pot,  a 
flagon  of  rum,  and  some  fancy  biscuits. 

They  discussed  the  immortality  of  the  soul,  and  drew 
comparisons  between  the  different  professors. 

One  evening  Hussonnet  introduced  a  tall  young 
man,  wearing  a  frock-coat,  too  short  in  the  wrists,  and 
with  a  look  of  embarrassment  on  his  face.  It  was  the 
young  fellow  whom  they  had  tried  to  release  from 
the  guard-house  the  year  before. 

As  he  had  been  unable  to  restore  the  box  of  lace 
lost  in  the  scuffle,  his  employer  had  accused  him  of 
theft,  and  threatened  to  prosecute  him.  He  was  now 
a  clerk  in  a  wagon-office.  Hussonnet  had  come  across 


him  that  morning  at  the  corner  of  the  street,  and 
brought  him  along,  for  Dussardier,  in  a  spirit  of  grati- 
tude, had  expressed  a  wish  to  see  "  the  other." 

He  held  out  toward  Frederick  the  cigar-holder, 
which  he  had  religiously  preserved,  still  full,  in  the 
hope  of  being  able  to  give  it  back.  The  young  men 
invited  him  to  pay  them  a  second  visit;  and  he  was 
not  slow  in  doing  so. 

They  all  had  sympathies  in  common.  Their  hatred 
of  the  Government  reached  the  height  of  an  unques- 
tionable dogma.  Martinon  alone  attempted  to  defend 
Louis  Philippe.  They  overwhelmed  him  with  the  com- 
monplaces rampant  in  the  newspapers — the  "  Bastilli- 
zation  "  of  Paris,  the  September  laws,  Pritchard,  Lord 
Guizot — so  that  Martinon  decided  to  hold  his  tongue 
for  fear  of  giving  offence  to  somebody.  During  his 
seven  years  at  college  he  had  never  incurred  the 
penalty  of  an  imposition,  and  at  the  Law  School  he 
knew  how  to  make  himself  agreeable  to  the  professors. 
He  usually  wore  a  big  putty-colored  frock-coat,  with 
india-rubber  goloshes ;  but  one  evening  he  presented 
himself  arrayed  like  a  bridegroom,  in  a  velvet  roll- 
collar  waistcoat,  a  white  tie,  and  a  gold  chain. 

The  astonishment  of  the  other  young  men  was  still 
greater  when  they  learned  that  he  had  just  come  away 
from  M.  Dambreuse's  house.  In  fact,  the  banker 
Dambreuse  had  just  bought  a  portion  of  an  extensive 
wood  from  Martinon  senior ;  and,  when  the  worthy 
man  introduced  his  son,  the  other  had  invited  them 
both  to  dinner. 

"Were  there  plenty  of  truffles  there?"  asked  Des- 
lauriers.  "  And  did  you  take  his  wife  by  the  waist 
between  the  two  doors,  sicut  decet?" 

Hereupon  the  conversation  turned  on  women.  Pel- 
lerin  would  not  admit  that  there  were  beautiful  women 


(he  preferred  tigers)  ;  besides,  the  human  female  was 
an  inferior  creature  in  the  aesthetic  hierarchy: 

"  What  fascinates  you  physically  is  just  the  very 
thing  that  degrades  her  as  an  idea ;  I  mean  her  breasts, 
her  hair " 

"  Nevertheless,"  urged  Frederick,  "  long  black  hair 
and  large  dark  eyes — 

"  Oh !  we  know  all  about  that,"  cried  Hussonnet. 
"  Enough  of  Andalusian  beauties  on  the  lawn.  Those 
things  are  out  of  date ;  no,  thank  you !  For  the  fact 
is,  honour  bright !  a  fast  woman  is  more  amusing 
than  the  Venus  of  Milo.  Let  us  be  Gallic,  in  Heaven's 
name,  and  after  the  Regency  style,  if  we  can ! 

'Flow,  generous  wines;  ladies,  deign  to  smile!' 

We  must  pass  from  the  dark  to  the  fair.  Do  you  agree, 
Father  Dussardier?" 

Dussardier  did  not  reply.  They  all  pressed  him  to 
state  what  his  tastes  were. 

"  Well,"  said  he,  colouring,  "  for  my  part,  I  would 
like  to  love  the  same  one  always !  " 

This  was  said  in  such  a  way  that  there  was  a  mo- 
ment of  silence,  some  of  them  being  surprised  at  this 
candour,  and  others  finding  in  his  words,  perhaps,  the 
secret  yearning  of  their  souls. 

Senecal  placed  his  glass  of  beer  on  the  mantelpiece, 
declaring  dogmatically  that,  as  prostitution  was  tyran- 
nical and  marriage  immoral,  it  was  better  to  practise 
abstinence.  Deslauriers  regarded  women  as  a  source 
of  amusement — nothing  more.  M.  de  Cisy  looked 
upon  them  with  the  utmost  dread. 

Brought  up  under  the  eyes  of  a  grandmother  who 
was  a  devotee,  he  found  the  society  of  these  young 
fellows  as  alluring  as  a  place  of  ill-repute  and  as  in- 
structive as  the  Sorbonne.  Frederick  showed  him  the 


greatest  attention.  He  admired  the  shade  of  his  cravat, 
the  fur  on  his  overcoat,  and  especially  his  boots,  as 
thin  as  gloves,  and  so  very  neat  and  fine  that  they  had 
a  look  of  insolent  superiority.  His  carriage  used  to 
wait  for  him  below  in  the  street. 

One  evening,  after  his  departure,  when  there  was 
a  fall  of  snow,  Senecal  began  to  complain  about  his 
having  a  coachman.  He  declaimed  against  kid-gloved 
exquisites  and  against  the  Jockey  Club.  He  had  more 
respect  for  a  workman  than  for  these  fine  gentlemen. 

"  For  my  part,  I  work  for  my  livelihood !  I  am  a 
poor  man !  " 

:'  That's  quite  evident/'  said  Frederick,  at  length, 
losing  patience. 

The  tutor  held  a  grudge  against  him  for  this  remark. 

But,  as  Regimbart  said  he  knew  Senecal  pretty  well, 
Frederick,  wishing  to  be  civil  to  a  friend  of  the  Ar- 
noux,  invited  him  to  the  Saturday  meetings ;  and  the 
two  patriots  were  glad  to  be  brought  together  in  this 

However,  they  took  opposite  views  of  most  things. 

Senecal — whose  skull  was  of  the  angular  type — 
fixed  his  attention  entirely  on  systems,  whereas  Reg- 
imbart, on  the  contrary,  saw  in  facts  nothing  more  than 
facts.  The  thing  that  chiefly  troubled  him  was  the 
Rhine  frontier.  He  claimed  to  be  an  authority  on  the 
subject  of  artillery,  and  got  his  clothes  made  by  a 
tailor  of  the  Polytechnic  School. 

The  first  day,  when  they  offered  him  some  cakes, 
he  disdainfully  shrugged  his  shoulders,  saying  that 
they  might  suit  women;  and  on  following  occasions 
his  manner  was  not  much  more  gracious.  Whenever 
speculative  ideas  had  reached  a  certain  elevation,  he 
would  mutter:  "Oh!  no  Utopias,  no  dreams!"  On 
the  subject  of  Art  (though  he  used  to  visit  the  studios, 


and  occasionally,  out  of  complaisance,  give  a  lesson  in 
fencing)  his  opinions  were  not  remarkable  for  their 
excellence.  He  compared  the  style  of  M.  Marast  to 
that  of  Voltaire,  and  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz  to  Madame 
de  Stae'l,  on  account  of  an  Ode  on  Poland  in  which 
"  there  was  some  spirit."  In  short,  Regimbart  bored 
everyone,  and  especially  Deslauriers,  for  the  Citizen 
was  a  friend  of  the  Arnoux  family.  Now  the  clerk 
was  most  anxious  to  visit  those  people  in  the  hope 
that  he  might  there  make  acquaintances  who  would 
be  of  advantage  to  him. 

"  When  are  you  going  to  take  me  there  with  you  ?  " 
he  would  say.  Arnoux  was  either  overburdened  with 
business,  or  else  starting  on  a  journey.  Then  it  was 
not  worth  while,  as  the  dinners  were  soon  coming  to 
an  end. 

If  he  had  been  called  on  to  risk  his  life  for  his  friend, 
Frederick  would  have  done  so.  But,  as  he  was  de- 
sirous of  presenting  as  good  a  figure  as  possible,  and 
with  this  in  view  was  most  careful  about  his  language 
and  manners,  and  so  attentive  to  his  costume  that  he 
always  appeared  at  the  office  of  L 'Art  Industriel  irre- 
proachably gloved,  he  was  afraid  that  Deslauriers,  with 
his  shabby  black  coat,  his  attorney-like  exterior,  and 
his  swaggering  kind  of  talk,  might  not  be  agreeable 
to  Madame  Arnoux,  and  thus  compromise  him  and 
lower  him  in  her  estimation.  The  other  results  would 
have  been  bad  enough,  but  the  last  one  would  have  an- 
noyed him  immeasurably. 

The  clerk  realised  that  his  friend  did  not  wish  to 
keep  his  promise,  and  Frederick's  silence  seemed  to 
him  an  aggravation  of  the  insult.  Moreover,  Fred- 
erick, with  his  thoughts  full  of  Madame  Arnoux,  fre- 
quently talked  about  her  husband  ;  and  Deslauriers  now 
began  an  intolerable  course  of  boredom  by  repeating 


the  name  a  hundred  times  a  day,  at  the  end  of  each  re- 
mark, like  the  parrot-cry  of  an  idiot. 

When  there  was  a  knock  at  the  door  he  would  call 
out,  "  Come  in,  Arnoux !  "  At  the  restaurant  he  would 
order  a  Brie  cheese  "  a  la  Arnoux,"  and  at  night,  pre- 
tending to  wake  up  from  a  bad  dream,  he  would  rouse 
his  comrade  by  howling  out,  "  Arnoux !  Arnoux !  " 
At  last  Frederick,  worn  out,  said  to  him  one  day,  in  a 
piteous  voice : 

"  Oh !  don't  bother  me  any  more  about  Arnoux !  " 

"  Never  !  "  replied  the  clerk : 

"He  always,    everywhere,  burning  or   icy  cold, 
The  pictured  form  of  Arnoux " 

"  Hold  your  tongue,  I  tell  you !  "  exclaimed  Fred- 
erick, raising  his  fist. 

Then  less  angrily  he  added: 

"  You  know  very  well  that  this  is  a  painful  subject 
to  me." 

"  Oh !  forgive  me,  old  fellow,"  returned  Deslauriers 
with  a  very  low  bow.  "  From  this  time  forth  we  will 
be  considerate  toward  Mademoiselle's  nerves.  Again, 
I  say,  forgive  me.  A  thousand  pardons !  " 

And  so  this  little  joke  came  to  an  end. 

But,  three  weeks  later,  one  evening,  Deslauriers  said 
to  him : 

"  Well,  I  have  just  seen  Madame  Arnoux." 

"Where,  pray?" 

"  At  the  Palais,  with  Balandard,  the  solicitor.  A 
dark  woman,  is  she  not,  of  middle  height  ?  " 

Frederick  made  a  gesture  of  assent.  He  waited  for 
Deslauriers  to  speak  further.  At  the  least  expression 
of  admiration  he  would  have  been  most  effusive,  and 
would  have  fairly  hugged  the  other.  However,  Des- 
lauriers said  nothing.  At  last,  unable  to  contain  him- 


self  any  longer,  Frederick,  with  assumed  indifference, 
asked  him  what  he  thought  of  her. 

Deslauriers  considered  that  "  she  was  not  so  bad, 
but  still  nothing  extraordinary." 

"  Ha !  you  think  so,"  said  Frederick. 

They  soon  reached  the  month  of  August,  the  time 
when  he  was  to  present  himself  for  his  second  exam- 
ination. According  to  the  prevailing  opinion,  the  sub- 
jects could  be  prepared  for  in  a  fortnight.  Frederick, 
having  full  confidence  in  his  own  powers,  swallowed 
up  in  a  trice  the  first  four  books  of  the  Code  of  Pro- 
cedure, the  first  three  of  the  Penal  Code,  fragments 
of  the  system  of  criminal  investigation,  and  a  part  of 
the  Civil  Code,  with  the  annotations  of  Monsieur 

As  several  examinations  were  taking  place  at  the 
same  time,  there  were  many  persons  in  the  precincts, 
and  among  others  Hussonnet  and  Cisy :  young  men 
never  failed  to  come  and  watch  these  ordeals  when  the 
fortunes  of  their  comrades  were  at  stake. 

Frederick  put  on  the  traditional  black  gown ;  then, 
followed  by  the  throng,  with  three  other  students,  he 
entered  a  spacious  apartment,  into  which  the  light 
penetrated  through  uncurtained  windows.  There  were 
benches  ranged  along  the  walls,  and  in  the  centre  of 
the  room  leather  chairs  were  set  round  a  table  adorned 
with  a  green  cover.  This  separated  the  candidates 
from  the  examiners  in  their  red  gowns,  and  ermine 
shoulder-knots,  the  head  examiners  wearing  gold-laced 
flat  caps.  • 

Frederick  found  himself  the  last  but  one  in  the  series 
— an  unfortunate  place.  In  answer  to  the  first  ques- 
tion, as  to  the  difference  between  a  convention  and  a 
contract,  he  defined  the  one  as  if  it  were  the  other ;  and 
the  professor,  who  was  a  fair  sort  of  man,  said  to  him, 


"  Don't  be  agitated.  Monsieur !  Compose  yourself !  " 
Then,  having  asked  two  easy  questions,  which  were  an- 
swered in  a  doubtful  fashion,  he  passed  on  at  last  to  the 
fourth.  This  wretched  beginning  caused  Frederick  to 
lose  his  head.  Deslauriers,  who  was  facing  him 
amongst  the  spectators,  made  an  encouraging  sign  to 
him  to  indicate  that  it  was  not  a  hopeless  case  yet ;  and 
at  the  second  series  of  questions,  dealing  with  the  crim- 
inal law,  he  came  out  tolerably  well.  But  after  the 
third,  with  reference  to  the  "  mystic  will,"  the  examiner 
having  remained  impassive  the  whole  time,  his  mental 
distress  redoubled ;  for  Hussonnet  brought  his  hands 
together  as  if  to  applaud,  whilst  Deslauriers  liberally 
indulged  in  shrugs  of  the  shoulders.  Finally,  the  mo- 
ment was  reached  for  the  examination  on  Procedure. 
The  professor,  displeased  at  listening  to  theories  op- 
posed to  his  own,  presently  asked  him  in  a  churlish 

"And  so  this  is  your  view,  Monsieur?  How  do 
you  reconcile  the  principle  of  Article  1351  of  the  Civil 
Code  with  this  application  by  a  third  party  to  set  aside 
a  judgment  by  default?  " 

Frederick  had  a  bad  headache  from  not  having  slept 
the  night  before.  A  ray  of  sunlight,  penetrating 
through  one  of  the  slits  in  a  Venetian  blind,  fell  on  his 
face.  Standing  behind  the  seat,  he  kept  wriggling 
about  and  tugging  at  his  moustache. 

"  I  am  still  awaiting  your  answer,"  the  man  with  the 
gold-edged  cap  observed. 

And  as  Frederick's  movements,  no  doubt,  irritated 

"  You  won't  find  it  in  that  moustache  of  yours ! " 

This  sarcasm  made  the  spectators  laugh.  The  pro- 
fessor, feeling  flattered,  adopted  a  coaxing  tone.  He 
put  two  more  questions  with  reference  to  adjournment 


and  summary  jurisdiction,  then  nodded  his  head  by 
way  of  approval.  The  examination  was  over.  Fred- 
erick retired  into  the  vestibule. 

While  an  usher  was  taking  off  his  gown,  to  put  it  on 
some  other  person  immediately  afterward,  his  friends 
gathered  around  him  and  succeeded  in  fairly  worry- 
ing him  with  their  conflicting  opinions  as  to  the  result 
of  his  examination.  Presently  the  announcement  was 
made  in  a  sonorous  voice  at  the  entrance  of  the  hall: 
"  The  third  was — put  off !  " 

"  Sent  packing !  "  said  Hussonnet.  "  Let  us  go 
away !  " 

In  front  of  the  doorkeeper's  lodge  they  met  Marti- 
non,  flushed,  excited,  with  a  smile  on  his  face  and  the 
halo  of  victory  around  his  brow.  He  had  just  passed 
his  final  examination  without  any  impediment.  All  he 
had  now  to  do  was  the  thesis.  Before  a  fortnight  was 
over  he  would  be  a  licentiate.  His  family  enjoyed  the 
acquaintance  of  a  Minister ;  "  a  beautiful  career  "  was 
opening  before  him  . 

"  All  the  same,  this  puts  you  into  a  mess,"  said  Des- 

There  is  nothing  so  humiliating  as  to  see  blockheads 
succeed  in  undertakings  in  which  we  ourselves  fail. 
Frederick,  filled  with  vexation,  replied  that  he  did  not 
care  a  straw  about  the  matter.  He  had  higher  pre- 
tensions ;  and  as  Hussonnet  made  a  move  to  leave, 
Frederick  took  him  aside,  and  said  to  him : 

"  Not  a  word  about  this  to  them,  mind !  " 

It  was  easy  to  keep  it  secret,  since  Arnoux  was 
starting  the  next  morning  for  Germany. 

When  he  returned  in  the  evening  the  clerk  found  his 
friend  singularly  altered.:  he  was  dancing  about  and 
whistling;  the  other  was  astonished  at  this  capricious 
change  of  mood.  Frederick  declared  that  he  did  not  in- 


tend  to  go  home  to  his  mother,  as  he  meant  to  spend 
his  holidays  working. 

At  the  news  of  Arnoux's  departure,  a  feeling  of  joy 
had  taken  possession  of  him.  He  might  present  him- 
self at  the  house  whenever  he  liked  without  any  fear 
of  having  his  visits  interrupted.  The  consciousness  of 
absolute  security  would  give  him  confidence.  Now  he 
would  not  stand  aloof,  he  would  not  be  separated  from 
her!  Something  more  powerful  than  an  iron  chain 
attached  him  to  Paris ;  a  voice  from  the  depths  of  his 
heart  told  him  to  remain. 

There  were  certain  obstacles  in  his  path.  These  he 
overcame  by  writing  to  his  mother:  first  of  all  he  ad- 
mitted that  he  had  failed  to  pass,  owing  to  alterations 
made  in  the  course — a  mere  mischance — an  unfair 
thing;  besides,  all  the  great  advocates  (he  referred  to 
them  by  name)  had  been  rejected  at  their  examina- 
tions. But  he  planned  to  present  himself  again  in  the 
month  of  November.  Now,  having  no  time  to  lose,  he 
would  not  go  home  this  year;  and  he  asked,  in  addi- 
tion to  the  quarterly  allowance,  for  two  hundred  and 
fifty  francs,  to  enable  him  to  get  coached  in  law  by  a 
private  tutor,  which  would  be  of  great  assistance  to 
him ;  and  he  threw  around  the  entire  epistle  a  garland 
of  regrets,  condolences,  expressions  of  affection,  and 
protestations  of  filial  love. 

Madame  Moreau,  who  had  been  expecting  him  the 
following  day,  was  doubly  grieved.  She  threw  a  veil 
over  her  son's  misadventure,  and  in  answer  told  him 
to  "  come  all  the  same."  Frederick  would  not  give 
way,  and  the  result  was  a  falling  out  between  them. 
However,  at  the  end  of  the  week  he  received  the 
amount  of  the  quarter's  allowance,  together  with  the 
sum  required  for  the  payment  of  the  private  tutor. 
This  helped  to  pay  for  a  pair  of  pearl-grey  trousers,  a 


white  felt  hat,  and  a  gold-headed  switch.  When  he 
had  procured  all  these  things  he  thought : 

"  Perhaps  this  is  only  a  hairdresser's  fancy  on  my 
part !  " 

And  a  feeling  of  considerable  hesitation  took  pos- 
session of  him. 

In  order  to  decide  as  to  whether  he  ought  to  call 
on  Madame  Arnoux,  he  tosed  three  coins  into  the  air 
in  succession.  On  each  occasion  luck  was  in  his  favour. 
Surely  Fate  must  have  ordained  it.  He  hailed  a  cab 
and  drove  to  the  Rue  de  Choiseul. 

He  quickly  ascended  the  staircase  and  drew  the  bell- 
pull,  but  without  effect.  He  felt  as  if  he  were  about 
to  faint. 

Then,  with  fierce  energy,  he  pulled  the  heavy  silk 
tassel.  There  was  a  resounding  peal  which  gradually 
died  away  till  no  further  sound  was  heard.  Frederick 
got  rather  frightened. 

He  laid  his  ear  to  the  door — not  a  breath !  He 
looked  in  through  the  key-hole  and  only  saw  two 
reed-points  on  the  wall-paper  in  the  midst  of  designs 
of  flowers.  At  last  he  was  on  the  point  of  going  away 
when  he  thought  he  would  try  once  more.  This  time 
he  gave  a  timid  little  ring.  The  door  flew  open,  and 
Arnoux  himself  appeared  on  the  threshold,  with  his 
hair  all  in  disorder,  his  face  crimson,  and  his  features 
distorted  by  an  expression  of  sullen  embarrassment. 

"  Hallo !  What  the  deuce  brings  you  here  ?  Come 

He  led  Frederick,  not  into  the  boudoir  or  into  the 
bed-room,  but  into  the  dining-room,  where  on  the 
table  was  a  bottle  of  champagne  and  two  glasses ;  and, 
in  an  abrupt  tone : 

"  There  is  something  you  want  to  ask  me,  my  dear 


"  No !  nothing !  nothing !  "  stammered  the  young 
man,  trying  to  think  of  some  excuse  for  his  visit.  At 
length  he  said  that  he  had  called  to  enquire  if  there 
were  any  news  from  him,  as  Hussonnet  had  announced 
that  he  had  gone  to  Germany. 

"  Not  at  all !  "  returned  Arnoux.  "  What  a  feather- 
headed  fellow  that  is  to  misunderstand  everything !  " 

In  order  to  conceal  his  agitation,  Frederick  kept 
walking  from  right  to  left  in  the  dining-room.  Hap- 
pening to  come  into  contact  with  a  chair,  he  knocked 
down  a  parasol  which  had  been  laid  across  it,  and  the 
ivory  handle  broke. 

"  Good  heavens !  "  he  exclaimed.  "  How  sorry  I  am 
for  having  broken  Madame  Arnoux's  parasol !  " 

At  this  remark,  the  picture-dealer  raised  his  head 
and  smiled  in  a  very  peculiar  fashion.  Frederick, 
taking  advantage  of  the  opportunity  thus  offered  to 
talk  about  her,  added  shyly: 

"Could  I  not  see  her?" 

No.  She  had  gone  to  the  country  to  see  her  mother, 
who  was  ill. 

He  did  not  venture  to  ask  any  questions  as  to  the 
length  of  time  that  she  would  be  away.  He  merely 
inquired  what  was  Madame  Arnoux's  native  place. 

"  Chartres.    Does  this  astonish  you  ?  " 

"  Astonish  me  ?  Oh,  no !  Why  should  it  ?  Not  in 
the  least !  " 

After  that  they  could  find  absolutely  nothing  to 
talk  about.  Arnoux,  having  made  a  cigarette  for  him- 
self, kept  walking  round  the  table,  puffing.  Frederick, 
standing  near  the  stove,  stared  at  the  walls,  the  what- 
not, and  the  floor;  and  the  delightful  pictures  flitted 
through  his  memory,  or,  rather,  before  his  eyes.  Then 
he  left  the  apartment. 

.A  piece  of  a  newspaper,  rolled  up  into  a  ball,  lay  on 


the  floor  in  the  anteroom.  Arnoux  snatched  it  up, 
and,  raising  himself  on  the  tips  of  his  toes,  he  stuck 
it  into  the  bell,  in  order,  as  he  said,  that  he  might  be 
able  to  go  and  finish  his  interrupted  siesta.  Then,  as 
he  grasped  Frederick's  hand : 

"  Kindly  tell  the  porter  that  I  am  not  in." 

And  he  shut  the  door  after  him  with  a  bang. 

Frederick  descended  the  staircase  slowly.  The  fail- 
ure of  this  first  attempt  discouraged  him  as  to  the  pos- 
sible results  of  those  that  might  follow.  Then  began 
three  months  of  absolute  boredom. 

He  went  back  to  his  bedchamber ;  then,  throwing 
himself  on  the  sofa,  he  abandoned  himself  to  a  con- 
fused succession  of  thoughts — plans  of  work,  schemes 
for  the  guidance  of  his  conduct,  attempts  to  penetrate 
the  future.  At  last,  in  order  to  shake  off  broodings 
which  were  all  about  himself,  he  went  out  into  the  open 

He  plunged  at  random  into  the  Latin  Quarter, 
usually  so  noisy,  but  deserted  at  this  particular  time, 
for  the  students  had  gone  back  to  their  families. 

Every  day  he  went  to  the  office  of  L'Art  Industrie!; 
and  in  order  to  ascertain  when  Madame  Arnoux  would 
be  back,  he  made  elaborate  enquiries  about  her  mother. 
Arnoux's  answer  never  varied — "  the  change  for  the 
better  was  continuing " — his  wife,  with  his  little 
daughter,  would  be  returning  the  following  week. 
The  longer  she  remained  away  the  more  uneasiness 
Frederick  exhibited,  so  that  Arnoux,  touched  by  so 
much  affection,  took  him  five  or  six  times  a  week  to 
dine  at  a  restaurant. 

In  the  long  talks  which  they  had  together  on  these 
occasions  Frederick  discovered  that  the  picture-dealer 
was  not  a  particularly  intellectual  type  of  a  man.  Ar- 
noux might,  however,  take  notice  of  his  chilling  man- 


ner ;  and  Frederick  deemed  it  advisable  to  pay  back,  in 
a  small  measure,  his  polite  attentions. 

Being  anxious  to  do  things  on  a  good  scale,  the 
young  man  sold  all  his  new  clothes  to  a  second-hand 
clothes-dealer  for  the  sum  of  eighty  francs,  and  having 
added  it  to  the  hundred  francs  which  he  still  had  left, 
he  called  at  Arnoux's  house  to  bring  him  out  to  dine. 
Regimbart  happened  to  be  there,  and  all  three  of  them 
set  forth  for  Les  Trois  Freres  Provengaux. 

The  Citizen  began  by  taking  off  his  surtout,  and, 
knowing  that  the  two  others  would  defer  to  his  gastro- 
nomic tastes,  he  drew  up  the  menu.  But  in  vain  did 
he  make  his  way  to  the  kitchen  to  speak  himself  to  the 
chef,  go  down  to  the  cellar,  with  every  corner  of  which 
he  was  familiar,  and  send  for  the  master  of  the  estab- 
lishment, to  whom  he  gave  "  a  blowing  up."  He  was 
not  pleased  with  the  dishes,  the  wines,  or  the  attend- 
ance. At  each  new  dish,  at  each  fresh  bottle,  as  soon 
as  he  had  swallowed  the  first  mouthful,  the  first 
draught,  he  threw  down  his  fork  or  pushed  his  glass 
some  distance  away  from  him ;  then,  with  his  elbows 
on  the  table-cloth,  and  stretching  out  his  arms,  he  de- 
clared in  a  loud  tone  that  it  was  no  longer  possible  to 
dine  in  Paris !  Finally,  not  knowing  what  to  put  into 
his  mouth,  Regimbart  ordered  kidney-beans  dressed 
with  oil,  "  quite  plain,"  which,  though  only  a  partial 
success,  slightly  appeased  him.  Then  he  had  a  talk 
with  the  waiter  about  the  latter's  predecessors  at  the 
"  Provengaux" : — "  What  had  become  of  Antoine  ? 
And  a  fellow  named  Eugene  ?  And  Theodore,  the  lit- 
tle fellow  who  always  used  to  attend  down  stairs? 
There  was  much  better  fare  in  those  days,  and  Bur- 
gundy vintages  the  like  of  which  they  would  never  see 

They  went  out  to  get  coffee  in  the  smoking-divan 


on  the  ground-floor  in  the  Passage  du  Saumon.  Fred- 
erick had  to  stand  around  while  interminable  games 
of  billiards  were  being  played,  drenched  in  innumer- 
able glasses  of  beer ;  and  he  lingered  on  there  till  mid- 
night without  knowing  why,  merely  through  want  of 
energy,  through  sheer  senselessness,  in  the  vague  ex- 
pectation that  something  might  happen  which  would 
give  a  favourable  turn  to  his  love. 

When,  then,  would  he  see  her  again  ?  Frederick  was 
in  a  state  of  despair.  But  one  evening,  toward  the 
close  of  November,  Arnoux  said  to  him : 

"  My  wife,  you  know,  came  back  yesterday !  " 

Next  day,  at  five  o'clock,  he  made  his  way  to  her 
house.  He  began  by  congratulating  her  on  her  moth- 
er's recovery  from  such  a  serious  illness. 

"  Why,  no !    Who  told  you  that  ?  " 

"  Arnoux !  " 

She  gave  vent  to  a  slight  "  Ah !  "  then  added  that 
she  had  grave  fears  at  first,  which,  however,  were  now 
entirely  dispelled.  She  was  seated  close  beside  the 
fire  in  an  upholstered  easy-chair.  He  was  on  the  sofa, 
with  his  hat  between  his  knees ;  and  the  conversation 
was  difficult  to  carry  on,  as  it  was  broken  off  nearly 
every  minute,  so  he  got  no  chance  of  giving  utterance 
to  his  sentiments.  But  when  he  began  to  complain  of 
having  to  study  legal  quibbles,  she  answered,  "  Oh !  I 
understand — business ! "  and  she  let  her  face  fall, 
buried  suddenly  in  her  own  reflections. 

He  was  eager  to  know  what  they  were,  and  thought 
of  nothing  else.  The  twilight  shadows  gathered 
around  them. 

She  rose,  having  to  do  some  shopping;  then  she 
reappeared  in  a  bonnet  trimmed  with  velvet,  and  a 
black  mantle  edged  with  minever.  He  plucked  up 
enough  courage  to  offer  to  accompany  her. 


It  was  now  so  dark  that  one  could  scarcely  see  any- 
thing. The  air  was  cold,  and  had  an  unpleasant  odour, 
owing  to  a  heavy  fog,  which  partially  blotted  out  the 
fronts  of  the  houses.  Frederick  breathed  it  with  de- 
light ;  for  he  could  feel  through  the  wadding  of  his 
coat  the  form  of  her  arm ;  and  her  hand,  cased  in  a 
chamois  glove  with  two  buttons,  her  little  hand  which 
he  would  have  liked  to  cover  with  kisses,  leaned  on 
his  sleeve.  Owing  to  the  slipperiness  of  the  pavement, 
they  lost  their  balance  a  little ;  it  seemed  to  him  as  if 
they  were  both  rocked  by  the  wind  in  the  midst  of  a 

The  glitter  of  the  lamps  on  the  boulevard  awoke, 
him  to  the  realities  of  existence.  The  opportunity  was 
a  good  one,  there  was  no  time  to  lose.  He  allowed 
himself  as  far  as  the  Rue  de  Richelieu  to  declare  his 
love.  But  almost  at  that  very  moment,  in  front  of  a 
china-shop,  she  stopped  abruptly  and  said  to  him : 

"  This  is  the  place.  Thanks.  On  Thursday — is  it 
not? — as  usual." 

The  dinners  were  now  renewed ;  and  the  more  he 
visited  at  Madame  Arnoux's  the  more  his  love-sick- 
ness increased.  The  contemplation  of  this  woman  had 
an  enervating  effect  upon  him,  like  the  use  of  a  per- 
fume that  is  too  strong.  It  penetrated  into  the  very 
depths  of  his  nature,  and  became  almost  a  kind  of  ha- 
bitual sensation,  a  new  mode  of  existence. 

The  prostitutes  whom  he  brushed  past  under  the  gas- 
light, the  female  ballad-singers  breaking  into  bursts  of 
melody,  the  ladies  rising  on  horseback  at  full  gallop, 
the  shopkeepers'  wives  on  foot,  the  grisettes  at  their 
windows,  all  women  brought  her  before  his  mental 
vision,  either  by  their  resemblance  to  her  or  through 
the  violent  contrast  they  presented. 

When  he  went  into  the  Jardin  des  Plantes  the  sight 


of  a  palm-tree  directed  his  thoughts  to  distant  coun- 
tries. They  were  travelling  together  on  the  backs  of 
dromedaries,  under  the  awnings  of  elephants,  in  the 
cabin  of  a  yacht  amongst  the  blue  archipelagoes,  or 
side  by  side  on  mules  with  little  bells  attached  to  them 
who  went  stumbling  through  the  grass  against  broken 
columns.  Then  he  saw  her  descending  some  wide  por- 
phyry staircase  in  the  midst  of  senators  under  a  dais  of 
ostriches'  feathers,  clad  in  a  robe  of  brocade.  At  an- 
other time  he  dreamed  of  her  in  yellow  silk  trousers  on 
the  cushions  of  a  harem. 

As  for  attempting  to  make  her  his  mistress,  he  was 
sure  that  it  would  be  futile. 

One  evening  Dittmer,  on  his  arrival,  kissed  her  on 
the  forehead ;  Lovarias  did  the  same,  observing : 

"  You  give  me  permission — don't  you  ? — as  it  is  a 
friend's  privilege  ?  " 

Frederick  stammered  out : 

"  It  seems  to  me  that  we  are  all  friends." 

"  Not  all  old  friends !  "  she  returned. 

This  was  repulsing  him  beforehand  indirectly. 

Besides,  what  could  he  do?  Tell  her  that  he  loved 
her?  No  doubt,  she  would  decline  to  listen  to  him 
or  else  she  would  feel  indignant  and  order  him  out  of 
the  house.  He  preferred  to  submit  to  even  the  most 
painful  ordeal  rather  than  run  the  horrible  risk  of 
seeing  her  no  more.  He  envied  pianists  for  their 
talents  and  soldiers  for  their  scars.  He  longed  for  a 
dangerous  attack  of  sickness,  hoping  in  this  way  to 
arouse  her  interest. 

One  thing  caused  astonishment  to  himself,  that  he 
felt  in  no  way  jealous  of  Arnoux;  and  he  could  not 
picture  her  in  his  imagination  undressed,  so  natural 
did  her  modesty  appear,  and  so  far  did  her  sex  recede 
into  a  mysterious  background. 


Nevertheless,  he  dreamed  of  the  happiness  of  living 
with  her,  of  "  theeing  "  and  *'  thouing  "  her,  of  pass- 
ing his  hand  lingeringly  over  her  head-bands,  or  re- 
maining in  a  kneeling  posture  on  the  floor,  with  both 
arms  clasped  round  her  waist,  so  as  to  drink  in  her 
soul  through  his  eyes.  To  accomplish  this  it  would 
be  necessary  to  overcome  Fate ;  and  so,  incapable  of 
action,  cursing  God,  and  accusing  himself  of  being  a 
coward,  he  kept  moving  restlessly  within  the  confines 
of  his  passion  just  as  a  prisoner  keeps  moving  about  in 
his  dungeon.  The  pangs  which  he  was  perpetually  en- 
during were  choking  him.  For  hours  he  would  remain 
quite  motionless,  or  else  he  would  burst  into  tears ;  and 
one  day  when  he  had  not  the  strength  to  control  his 
emotion,  Deslauriers  said  to  him  : 

"  Why,  goodness  gracious !  what's  the  matter  with 
you  ?  " 

Frederick's  nerves  were  unstrung.  Deslauriers  did 
not  believe  a  word  of  it.  At  the  sight  of  so  much  men- 
tal anguish  he  felt  all  his  old  affection  reawakening, 
and  he  tried  to  cheer  up  his  friend.  A  man  like  him 
to  allow  himself  to  get  depressed,  what  folly !  It  was 
all  very  well  whilst  one  was;  but  as  one  grows 
older,  it  is  only  waste  of  time. 

"  You  are  spoiling  my  Frederick  for  me !  I  want 
him  whom  I  knew  in  bygone  days.  The  same  boy  as 
ever !  I  liked  him !  Come,  smoke  a  pipe,  old  chap ! 
Shake  yourself  up  a  little !  You  drive  me  mad !  " 

"  It  is  true,"  said  Frederick,  "  I  am  a  fool !  " 

The  clerk  replied-: 

"  Ah  !  old  troubadour,  I  know  very  well  what's  troub- 
ling you!  A  little  affair  of  the  heart?  Confess  it! 
Bah !  One  lost,  four  found  to  replace  the  one !  We 
console  ourselves  for  virtuous  women  with  the  other 
sort.  Would  you  like  me  to  introduce  you  to  some 


women?  You  have  only  to  come  to  the  Alhambra." 

(This  was  a  place  for  public  balls  recently  opened 
at  the  top  of  the  Champs-Elysees,  which  had  gone 
down  owing  to  a  display  of  licentiousness  somewhat 
more  extreme  than  is  usual  in  establishments  of  the 

"  That's  a  place  where  there  seems  to  be  good  fun. 
You  may  take  your  friends,  if  you  like.  I  can  even 
pass  in  Regimbart  for  you." 

Frederick  did  not  think  fit  to  ask  the  Citizen  to  go. 
Deslauriers  deprived  himself  of  the  pleasure  of  Sene- 
cal's  society.  They  took  only  Hussonnet  and  Cisy 
along  with  Dussardier;  and  the  same  hackney-coach 
set  the  group  of  five  down  at  the  entrance  of  the  Al- 

Two  Moorish  galleries  extended  on  the  right  and 
on  the  left,  parallel  to  one  another.  The  wall  of  a 
house  opposite  filled  the  entire  background ;  and  the 
fourth  side  (that  in  which  the  restaurant  was)  repre- 
sented a  Gothic  cloister  with  stained-glass  windows. 
A  sort  of  Chinese  roof  screened  the  platform  reserved 
for  the  musicians,  and  the  numerous  walks,  garnished 
with  sand  of  a  deep  yellow,  carefully  raked,  made  the 
garden  look  much  larger  than  it  really  was. 

Stvidents  were  escorting  their  mistresses  to  and  fro ; 
drapers'  clerks  strutted  about  with  canes  in  their 
hands ;  lads  fresh  from  college  were  smoking  their  re- 
galias ;  old  men  had  dyed  beards,  carefully  combed. 
There  were  English,  Russians,  men  from  South  Amer- 
ica, and  three  Orientals  in  tarbooshes.  Lorettes,  gri- 
settes,  and  girls  of  the  town  were  there  in  the  hope  of 
finding  a  protector,  a  lover,  a  gold  coin,  or  simply  for 
the  pleasure  of  dancing. 

Hussonnet  was  acquainted  with  a  number  of  the 
women  through  his  connection  with  the  fashion-jour- 


nals  and  the  smaller  theatres.  He  sent  them  kisses 
with  the  tips  of  his  fingers,  and  from  time  to  time  he 
left  his  friends  to  go  and  chat  with  them. 

Deslauriers  felt  jealous  of  these  playful  familiarities. 
He  accosted  in  a  cynical  manner  a  tall,  fair-haired  girl 
in  a  nankeen  costume.  After  looking  him  over  with  a 
certain  air  of  sullenness,  she  said : 

"  No !  I  wouldn't  trust  you,  my  good  fellow !  "  and 
turned  on  her  heel. 

His  next  attempt  was  on  a  stout  brunette,  who  ap- 
parently was  a  little  mad ;  for  she  gave  a  bounce  at 
the  very  first  word  he  spoke  to  her,  threatening,  if  he 
went  any  further,  to  call  the  police.  Deslauriers  pre- 
tended to  laugh ;  then,  coming  across  a  little  woman 
sitting  by  herself  under  a  gas-lamp,  he  asked  her  to  be 
his  partner  in  a  quadrille. 

The  musicians,  perched  on  the  platform  in  the  at- 
titude of  apes,  kept  scraping  and  blowing  away  with 
desperate  energy.  The  conductor,  standing  up,  kept 
beating  time  automatically.  The  dancers  were  much 
crowded  and  enjoyed  themselves  thoroughly.  The 
bonnet-strings,  getting  loose,  rubbed  against  the  cra- 
vats ;  the  boots  sank  under  the  petticoats ;  and  all  this 
bouncing  went  on  to  the  accompaniment  of  the  music. 
Deslauriers  hugged  the  little  woman,  and,  seized  with 
the  delirium  of  the  cancan,  whirled  about,  like  a  big 
marionette,  in  the  midst  of  the  dancers.  Cisy  and  Dus- 
sardier  were  still  walking  up  and  down.  The  young 
aristocrat  kept  ogling  the  girls,  but,  in  spite  of  the 
clerk's  persuasions,  he  did  not  venture  to  talk  to  them, 
having  an  idea  in  his  head  that  in  the  resorts  of  these 
women  there  was  always  "  a  man  hidden  in  the  cup- 
board with  a  pistol  who  would  come  out  of  it  and  force 
you  to  sign  a  bill  of  exchange." 

They  came  back  and  joined  Frederick.    Deslauriers 


had  stopped  dancing;  and  they  were  all  asking  them- 
selves how  they  were  to  finish  up  the  evening,  when 
Hussonnet  exclaimed : 

"  Look !     Here's  the  Marquise  d'Amaegui !  " 

The  person  referred  to  was  a  pale  woman  with  a 
retrousse  nose,  mittens  up  to  her  elbows,  and  big  black 
earrings  hanging  down  her  cheeks,  like  two  dog's  ears. 
Hussonnet  said  to  her : 

"  We  should  organise  a  little  fete  at  your  house — 
a  sort  of  Oriental  rout.  Try  to  collect  some  of  your 
friends  here  for  these  French  cavaliers.  Well,  what  is 
the  matter  ?  Are  you  going  to  wait  for  your  hidalgo  ?  " 

The  Andalusian  hung  down  her  head :  being  well 
aware  of  the  by  no  means  generous  habits  of  her 
friend,  she  was  afraid  of  having  to  pay  for  any  re- 
freshments he  ordered.  When,  at  length,  she  let  the 
word  "  money  "  slip  from  her,  Cisy  offered  five  na- 
poleons— all  he  had  in  his  purse ;  and  so  it  was  settled 
that  the  thing  should  come  off. 

But  Frederick  was  absent.  He  fancied  that  he  had 
recognised  the  voice  of  Arnoux,  and  suddenly  got  a 
glimpse  of  a  woman's  hat ;  he  hastened  toward  an  ar- 
bour which  was  not  far  off. 

Mademoiselle  Vatnaz  was  alone  there  with  Arnoux. 

"  Excuse  me !  I  am  in  the  way  ?  " 

"  Not  in  the  least !  "  returned  the  picture-merchant. 

Frederick,  from  the  concluding  words  of  their  con- 
versation, understood  that  Arnoux  had  come  to  the 
Alhambra  to  talk  over  an  important  matter  of  business 
with  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz;  and  it  was  evident  that  he 
was  not  completely  reassured,  for  he  said  to  her,  with 
some  uneasiness  in  his  manner : 

"  You  are  quite  sure  ?  " 

"  Perfectly  certain !  You  are  loved.  Ah !  what  a 
man  you  are  !  " 


And  she  assumed  a  pouting  look,  putting  out  her 
big  lips,  so  red  that  they  seemed  tinged  with  blood. 
But  she  had  wonderful  eyes,  of  a  tawny  hue,  with 
specks  of  gold  in  the  pupils,  full  of  vivacity,  amorous- 
ness, and  sensuality.  They  lit  up,  like  lamps,  the 
rather  yellow  tint  of  her  thin  face.  Arnoux  seemed 
to  relish  her  exhibition  of  pique.  He  stooped  over 
her,  saying : 

"  You  are  nice — give  me  a  kiss!  " 

She  caught  hold  of  his  two  ears,  and  pressed  her 
lips  against  his  forehead. 

At  that  moment  the  dancing  stopped ;  and  in  the 
conductor's  place  appeared  a  handsome  young  man, 
rather  fat,  with  a  waxen  complexion.  He  had  long 
black  hair,  which  he  wore  in  the  same  fashion  as 
Christ,  and  a  blue  velvet  waistcoat  embroidered  with 
large  gold  palm-branches.  He  looked  as  proud  as  a 
peacock,  and  as  stupid  as  a  turkey-cock;  and,  having 
bowed  to  the  audience,  he  began  a  ditty.  A  villager 
was  supposed  to  be  giving  an  account  of  his  journey 
to  the  capital.  The  singer  used  the  dialect  of  Lower 
Normandy,  and  played  the  part  of  a  drunken  man. 
The  refrain — 

"Ah!  I  laughed  at  you  there,  I  laughed  at  you  there, 
In  that  rascally  city  of  Paris!" 

was  greeted  with  prolonged  applause.  Delmas,  "  a 
vocalist  who  sang  with  expression,"  was  too  clever  to 
let  the  excitement  of  his  listeners  cool.  A  guitar  was 
quickly  handed  to  him  and  he  moaned  forth  a  ballad 
entitled  "  The  Albanian  Girl's  Brother." 

The  words  recalled  to  Frederick  those  which  had 
been  sung  by  the  man  in  rags  between  the  paddle- 
boxes  of  the  steamboat.  His  eyes  involuntarily  rested 
on  the  hem  of  the  dress  spread  out  before  him. 

After   each   couplet  there   was  a  long  pause,   and 


the  blowing  of  the  wind  through  the  trees  resembled 
the  sound  of  waves. 

Mademoiselle  Vatnaz  blushed -the  moment  she  saw 
Dussardier.  She  soon  rose,  and  stretching  out  her 
hand  toward  him : 

"  You  do  not  remember  me,  Monsieur  Auguste  ?  " 

"  How  do  you  know  her?"  asked  Frederick. 

"  We  have  been  in  the  same  house,"  he  replied. 

Cisy  pulled  him  by  the  sleeve ;  they  went  out ;  and, 
scarcely  had  they  disappeared,  when  Madame  Vatnaz 
began  to  pronounce  a  eulogy  on  his  character.  She 
even  went  so  far  as  to  say  that  he  possessed  "  the 
genius  of  the  heart." 

Then  they  chatted  about  Delmas,  admitting  that  as 
a  mimic  he  might  be  a  success  on  the  stage ;  and  a 
discussion  followed  in  which  Shakespeare,  the  Censor- 
ship, Style,  the  People,  the  receipts  of  the  Porte  Saint- 
Martin,  Alexandre  Dumas,  Victor  Hugo,  and  Dumer- 
san  were  all  mixed  up  together. 

Arnoux  had  known  many  celebrated  actresses ;  the 
young  men  listened  eagerly  to  what  he  had  to  say  about 
these  ladies.  But  his  words  were  lost  in  the  noise  of 
the  music;  and,  as  soon  as  the  quadrille  or  the  polka 
was  over,  they  all  sat  round  the  tables,  called  the 
waiter,  and  laughed.  Behind  the  mediaeval  cloister 
could  be  heard  crackling  sounds ;  squibs  went  off ;  arti- 
ficial suns  began  revolving;  the  gleam  of  the  Bengal 
fires,  like  emeralds  in  colour,  lighted  up  for  the  space 
of  a  minute  the  entire  garden  ;  and,  with  the  last  rocket, 
a  great  sigh  escaped  from  the  assembled  throng. 

It  slowly  died  away.  A  cloud  of  gunpowder  floated 
into  the  air.  Frederick  and  Deslauriers  were  walking 
side  by  side  through  the  midst  of  the  crowd,  when 
they  happened  to  see  something  that  made  them 
suddenly  stop:  Martinon  was  in  the  act  of  paying 


some  money  at  the  place  where  umbrellas  were  left; 
and  he  had  with  him  a  woman  of  fifty,  plain-look- 
ing, magnificently  dressed,  and  of  problematic  social 

"  That  sly  dog,"  said  Deslauriers,  "  is  not  so  simple 
as  we  imagine.  But  where  in  the  world  is  Cisy  ?  " 

Dussardier  pointed  toward  the  smoking-divan, 
where  they  perceived  the  knightly  youth,  with  a  bowl 
of  punch  before  him,  and  a  pink  hat  by  his  side,  to 
keep  him  company.  Hussonnet,  who  had  been  away 
for  the  past  few  minutes,  reappeared  at  the  same  mo- 
ment with  a  young  girl  leaning  on  his  arm,  who  ad- 
dressed him  in  a  loud  voice  as  "  My  little  cat." 

"  Oh,  no  !  "  said  he  to  her — "  not  in  public  !  Call 
me  rather  '  Vicomte.'  That  gives  you  a  cavalier  style 
— Louis  XIII  and  dainty  boots — the  sort  of  thing  I 
like!  Yes,  my  good  friends,  one  of  the  old  regime! — 
nice,  isn't  she  ?  " — and  he  chucked  her  under  the  chin 
— "  Salute  these  gentlemen !  they  are  all  the  sons  of 
peers  of  France.  I  associate  with  them  in  order  that 
they  may  get  an  appointment  for  me  as  an  ambassa- 

"  How  insane  you  are !  "  sighed  Mademoiselle  Vat- 
naz.  She  asked  Dussardier  to  see  her  as  far  as  her 
own  door. 

Arnoux  watched  them  going  off;  then,  turning 
toward  Frederick : 

"  Did  you  like  the  Vatnaz  ?  At  any  rate,  you're  not 
quite  frank  about  these  affairs.  I  believe  you  keep 
your  amours  secret." 

Frederick,  turning  pale,  swore  that  he  kept  nothing 

"  Can  it  be  possible  you  don't  know  what  it  is  to 
have  a  mistress  ?  "  said  Arnoux. 

Frederick  felt  a  longing  to  mention  some  woman's 


name  at  random.  But  the  story  might  be  repeated  to 
her.  So  he  replied  that  as  a  matter  of  fact  he  had  no 

The  picture-dealer  reproached  him  for  this. 

"  This  evening  you  had  a  good  opportunity !  Why 
didn't  you  do  like  the  others,  each  of  whom  went  off 
with  a  woman  ?  " 

"Well,  and  what  about  yourself?"  said  Frederick, 
irritated  by  his  persistency. 

"  Oh !  myself — that's  quite  another  matter,  my  lad ! 
I  go  home  to  my  own  one !  " 

Then  he  called  a  cab,  and  disappeared. 

The  two  friends  walked  homeward.  An  east  wind 
was  blowing.  They  did  not  exchange  a  word.  Des- 
lauriers  was  regretting  that  he  had  not  succeeded  in 
making  a  shine  before  a  certain  newspaper-manager, 
and  Frederick  was  lost  once  more  in  his  melancholy 
broodings.  At  length,  breaking  the  silence,  he  re- 
marked that  this  public-house  ball  appeared  to  him  a 
stupid  affair. 

"Whose  fault  is  that?  If  you  had  not  left  us,  to 
join  that  Arnoux  of  yours " 

"  Bah !  anything  I  could  have  done  would  have  been 
utterly  useless !  " 

But  the  clerk  had  theories  of  his  own.  All  that  was 
necessary  in  order  to  get  a  thing  was  to  desire  it 

"  Nevertheless,  you  yourself,  a  little  while  ago " 

"  I  don't  care  a  straw  about  that  sort  of  thing !  "  re- 
turned Deslauriers,  cutting  short  Frederick's  allusion. 
"  Am  I  going  to  get  entangled  with  women  ?  " 

And  he  declaimed  against  their  affectations,  their 
silly  ways — in  short,  he  disliked  them. 

"  Don't  be  acting,  then !  "  said  Frederick. 

Deslauriers  was  silent.     Then,  all  at  once : 


"  Will  you  bet  me  a  hundred  francs  that  I  won't 
catch  the  first  woman  that  passes?  " 

"  Yes — it's  a  bet!  " 

The  first  who  passed  was  a  hideous-looking  beggar- 
woman,  and  they  were  giving  up  all  hope  of  a  chance 
presenting  itself  when,  in  the  middle  of  the  Rue  de 
Rivoli,  they  saw  a  tall  girl  with  a  little  bandbox  in  her 

Deslauriers  accosted  her  under  the  arcades.  She 
turned  up  abruptly  by  the  Tuileries,  and  soon  diverged 
into  the  Place  du  Carrousel.  She  looked  to  the  right 
and  to  the  left.  She  ran  after  a  hackney-coach ;  Des- 
lauriers overtook  her.  He  walked  by  her  side,  talking 
to  her  with  expressive  gestures.  At  length,  she  ac- 
cepted his  arm,  and  they  walked  on  together  along  the 
quays.  Then,  when  they  reached  the  rising  ground  in 
front  of  the  Chatelet,  they  kept  tramping  up  and  down 
for  at  least  twenty  minutes,  like  two  sailors  keeping 
watch.  But,  all  of  a  sudden,  they  passed  over  the 
Pont-au-Change,  through  the  Flower  Market,  and 
along  the  Quai  Napoleon.  Frederick  came  up  behind 
them.  Deslauriers  gave  him  to  understand  that  he 
would  be  in  their  way,  and  had  better  follow  his  ex- 

"  How  much  have  you  got  left  ?  " 

"  Two  hundred  sous  pieces." 

'  That's  enough — good  night  to  you !  " 

Frederick  was  seized  with  the  astonishment  one  feels 
at  seeing  a  piece  of  foolery  coming  to  a  successful 

"  He  has  the  laugh  at  me,"  was  his  reflection. 
"  Suppose  I  went  back  again  ?  " 

Perhaps  Deslauriers  imagined  that  he  was  envious  of 
this  paltry  love !  "  As  if  I  had  not  one  a  hundred  times 
more  satisfying,  more  noble,  more  absorbing."  He  felt 


a  sort  of  angry  feeling  impelling  him  onward.  He  ar- 
rived in  front  of  Madame  Arnoux's  door. 

None  of  the  outer  windows  belonged  to  her  apart- 
ment. Nevertheless,  he  remained  with  his  eyes  fixed 
on  the  front  of  the  house — as  if  he  fancied  he  could, 
by  his  contemplation,  penetrate  the  walls.  No  doubt, 
she  was  now  sunk  in  repose,  tranquil  as  a  sleeping 
flower,  with  her  beautiful  black  hair  resting  on  the  lace 
of  the  pillow,  her  lips  slightly  parted,  and  one  arm 
under  her  head.  Then  Arnoux's  face  rose  before  him, 
and  he  rushed  away  to  escape  from  this  vision. 

The  advice  which  Deslauriers  had  given  to  him  came 
back  to  his  memory.  It  only  filled  him  with  horror. 
Then  he  walked  about  the  streets  in  a  vagabond 
fashion.  He  found  himself  on  the  Pont  de  la  Con- 

Then  he  recalled  that  evening  in  the  previous  winter, 
when,  as  he  left  her  house  for  the  first  time,  he  was 
forced  to  stand  still,  so  rapidly  did  his  heart  beat  with 
the  hopes  that  filled  him.  And  now  they  had  all  with- 
ered ! 

He  resumed  his  walk.  But,  as  he  was  exceedingly 
hungry,  and  none  of  the  restaurants  were  open,  he 
went  to  get  a  "  snack  "  at  a  tavern  by  the  fish-markets ; 
after  which,  thinking  it  too  soon  to  return  home,  he 
kept  wandering  about  the  Hotel  de  Ville  till  a  quarter 
past  eight. 

Deslauriers  had  long  since  got  rid  of  his  wench ;  and 
he  was  writing  at  the  table  in  the  middle  of  his  room. 
About  four  o'clock  that  afternoon,  Monsieur  de  Cisy 
came  in. 

Thanks  to  Dussardier,  he  had  enjoyed  the  society  of 
a  lady  the  night  before ;  and  he  had  even  accompanied 
her  home  in  the  carriage  with  her  husband  to  the  very 
threshold  of  their  house,  where  she  had  given  him  an 


assignation.  He  parted  with  her  without  even  finding 
out  her  name. 

"  And  what  do  you  propose  that  I  should  do  in  that 
way?  "  said  Frederick. 

Thereupon  the  young  gentleman  began  to  cudgel  his 
brains  to  think  of  a  suitable  woman ;  he  mentioned 
Mademoiselle  Vatnaz,  the  Andalusian,  and  all  the 
others.  At  length,  with  much  circumlocution,  he  came 
to  the  object  of  his  visit.  Relying  on  the  discretion  of 
his  friend,  he  came  to  aid  him  in  taking  an  important 
step,  after  which  he  might  definitely  regard  himself  as 
a  man ;  and  Frederick  showed  no  reluctance.  He  told 
the  story  to  Deslauriers  without  relating  the  facts  with 
reference  to  himself  personally. 

The  clerk  was  of  opinion  that  he  was  now  progres- 
sing very  well.  This  respect  for  his  advice  increased 
his  good  humour.  He  owed  to  that  quality  his  success, 
on  the  very  first  night  he  met  her,  with  Mademoiselle 
Clemence  Daviou,  embroideress  in  gold  for  military 
outfits,  the  sweetest  creature  that  ever  lived,  as  slender 
as  a  reed,  with  large  blue  eyes,  perpetually  staring  with 
wonder.  The  clerk  had  taken  advantage  of  her  cred- 
ulity to  such  an  extent  as  to  make  her  believe  that  he 
had  been  decorated.  At  their  private  meetings  he  had 
his  frock-coat  adorned  with  a  red  ribbon,  but  divested 
himself  of  it  on  public  occasions  in  order,  as  he  put  it, 
not  to  humiliate  his  master.  However,  he  kept  her  at 
a  distance,  allowed  himself  to  be  fawned  upon,  like  a 
pasha,  and,  in  a  laughing  sort  of  way,  called  her 
"  daughter  of  the  people."  Every  time  they  met,  she 
brought  him  little  bunches  of  violets.  Frederick 
would  not  have  enjoyed  a  love  affair  of  this  sort. 

Meanwhile,  whenever  they  set  forth  arm-in-arm  to 
visit  Pinson's  or  Barillot's  circulating  library,  he  ex- 
perienced a  feeling  of  singular  depression.  Frederick 


did  not  realise  how  much  pain  he  had  caused  Deslau- 
riers  for  the  past  year,  while  brushing  his  nails  pre- 
paratory to  dining  in  the  Rue  de  Choiseul ! 

One  evening,  when  from  the  commanding  position 
in  which  his  balcony  stood,  he  had  just  been  watching 
them  as  they  went  out  together,  he  saw  Hussonnet, 
some  distance  off,  on  the  Pont  d'Arcole.  The  Bo- 
hemian made  signals  to  him,  and,  when  Frederick  had 
descended  the  five  flights  of  stairs : 

"  Here  is  the  thing — it  is  next  Saturday,  the  24th, 
Madame  Arnoux's  feast-day." 

"  How  is  that,  when  her  name  is  Marie?  " 

"  And  Angele.also — no  matter!  They  will  entertain 
their  guests  at  their  country-house  at  Saint-Cloud.  I 
was  told  to  give  you  due  notice  about  it.  You'll  find 
a  vehicle  waiting  at  the  magazine-office  at  three  o'clock. 
So  that  makes  matters  all  right !  Excuse  me  for  hav- 
ing disturbed  you !  But  I  have  such  a  number  of  calls 
to  make !  " 

Frederick  had  scarcely  turned  round  when  his  door- 
keeper placed  a  letter  in  his  hand : 

"  Monsieur  and  Madame  Dambreuse  beg  of  Mon- 
sieur F.  Moreau  to  do  them  the  honour  to  come  and 
dine  with  them  on  Saturday  the  24th  inst. — R.S.V.P." 

"  Too  late !  "  he  said  to  himself.  Nevertheless,  he 
showed  the  letter  to  Deslauriers,  who  exclaimed : 

"  Ha !  at  last !  But  you  don't  look  as  if  you  were 
pleased.  Why?" 

After  some  little  hesitation,  Frederick  said  that  he 
had  another  invitation  for  the  same  day. 

"  Be  kind  enough  to  let  me  run  across  to  the  Rue  de 
Choiseul.  I'm  not  joking!  I'll  answer  this  for  you 
If  it  disturbs  you." 

And  the  clerk  wrote  an  acceptance  of  the  invitation 
In  the  third  person. 


Having  seen  nothing  of  the  social  world  save 
through  the  fever  of  his  desires,  he  pictured  it  to  him- 
self as  an  artificial  creation  discharging  its  functions  by 
virtue  of  mathematical  laws.  A  dinner  in  the  city,  an 
accidental  meeting  with  a  man  in  office,  a  smile  from  a 
pretty  woman,  might,  by  a  series  of  actions  deducing 
themselves  from  one  another,  have  gigantic  results. 
Certain  Parisian  drawing-rooms  were  similar  to  those 
machines  which  take  a  material  in  the  rough  and  ren- 
der it  a  hundred  times  more  valuable.  He  believed  in 
courtesans  advising  diplomatists,  in  wealthy  marriages 
brought  about  by  intrigues,  in  the  cleverness  of  con- 
victs, in  the  capacity  of  strong  men  for  getting  the  bet- 
ter of  fortune.  In  short,  he  considered  it  so  important 
to  visit  the  Dambreuses,  and  talked  about  it  so  plausi- 
bly, that  Frederick  was  at  a  loss  to  know  what  to  do. 

The  least  attention  he  could  show,  as  it  was  Madame 
Arnoux's  feast-day,  was  to  make  her  a  present.  He 
naturally  thought  of  a  parasol,  in  order  to  replace  the 
one  he  had  broken.  He  came  across  a  shot-silk  parasol 
with  a  little  carved  ivory  handle,  which  had  come  all 
the  way  from  China.  But  the  price  of  it  was  a  hun- 
dred and  seventy-five  francs,  and  he  had  not  a  sou, 
having  in  fact  to  live  on  the  credit  of  his  next  quar- 
ter's allowance.  However,  he  wished  to  get  it ;  he  was 
determined  to  have  it;  and  in  spite  of  his  repugnance 
to  doing  so,  he  had  recourse  to  Deslauriers. 

Deslauriers  answered  Frederick's  first  question  by 
saying  that  he  had  no  money. 

"  I  need  some,"  said  Frederick — "  I  need  some  very 
badly !  " 

As  the  other  made  the  same  excuse  again,  he  flew 
into  a  passion. 

"  You  might  find  it  to  your  advantage  some 
time " 


"  What  do  you  mean  by  that  ?  " 

"Oh!  nothing." 

The  clerk  understood.  He  took  the  sum  required 
out  of  his  reserve-fund,  and  when  he  had  counted  out 
the  money,  coin  by  coin : 

"'  I  am  not  asking  you  for  a  receipt,  as  I  see  you 
have  a  lot  of  expense !  " 

Frederick  threw  himself  on  his  friend's  neck  with  a 
thousand  affectionate  protestations.  Deslauriers  re- 
ceived this  display  of  emotion  frigidly.  Then,  next 
morning,  noticing  the  parasol  on  the  top  of  the  piano : 

"  Ah  !  it  was  for  that !  " 

"  I  may  send  it,  perhaps/'  said  Frederick,  with  an 
air  of  carelessness. 

Good  fortune  was  on  his  side,  for  that  evening  he 
received  a  note  with  a  black  border  from  Madame 
Dambreuse  announcing  that  she  had  lost  an  uncle,  and 
excusing  herself  for  having  to  defer  till  a  later  period 
the  pleasure  of  making  his  acquaintance. 

At  two  o'clock,  he  reached  the  office  of  the  art  jour- 
nal. Instead  of  waiting  to  drive  him  in  his  carriage, 
Arnoux  had  left  the  city  the  night  before,  unable  to 
resist  the  opportunity  of  getting  some  fresh  air. 

Every  year  it  had  been  his  custom,  as  soon  as  the 
leaves  were  budding  forth,  to  start  early  in  the  morn- 
ing and  to  remain  away  several  days,  making  long 
journeys  across  the  fields,  drinking  milk  at  the  farm- 
houses, romping  with  the  village  girls,  asking  ques- 
tions about  the  harvest,  and  carrying  back  home  with 
him  stalks  of  salad  in  his  pocket-handkerchief.  At 
length,  he  realised  a  long-cherished  dream  of  his,  by 
buying  a  country -house. 

While  Frederick  was  talking  to  the  picture-dealer's 
clerk,  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz  suddenly  made  her  appear- 
ance, and  expressed  herself  disappointed  at  not  seeing 


Arnoux.  He  would,  perhaps,  be  remaining  away  two 
days  longer.  The  clerk  advised  her  "  to  go  there  " — 
she  could  not ;  to  write  a  letter — she  was  afraid  that  it 
might  get  lost.  Frederick  offered  to  be  the  bearer  of 
it  himself.  She  rapidly  scribbled  off  a  letter,  and  im- 
plored him  to  let  nobody  see  him  delivering  it. 

Forty  minutes  later,  he  found  himself  at  Saint- 
Cloud.  The  house,  which  was  about  a  hundred  paces 
farther  away  than  the  bridge,  stood  half-way  up  the 
hill.  The  garden-walls  were  hidden  by  two  rows  of 
linden-trees,  and  a  wide  lawn  sloped  to  the  bank  of 
the  river.  The  railed  entrance  before  the  door  was 
open,  and  Frederick  went  in. 

Arnoux,  stretched  on  the  grass,  was  playing  with  a 
litter  of  kittens.  This  amusement  appeared  to  absorb 
him  completely.  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz's  letter  aroused 
him  out  of  his  sleepy  idleness. 

"  The  deuce !  the  deuce ! — this  is  a  bore !  She  is 
right,  though ;  I  must  go." 

Then,  having  stuck  the  missive  into  his  pocket,  he 
showed  the  young  man  through  the  grounds  with  evi- 
dent delight.  Presently  a  few  harmonious  notes  burst 
forth  above  their  heads:  Madame  Arnoux,  fancying 
that  there  was  nobody  near,  was  singing  to  amuse  her- 
self. She  ceased  all  at  once,  when  M.  and  Madame 
Oudry,  two  neighbours,  presented  themselves. 

Then  she  appeared  herself  at  the  top  of  the  steps  in 
front  of  the  house ;  and,  as  she  descended,  he  caught  a 
glimpse  of  her  foot.  She  wore  little  open  shoes  of  red- 
dish-brown leather,  with  three  straps  crossing  each 
other  so  as  to  draw  just  above  her  stockings  a  wire- 
work  of  gold. 

Those  who  had  been  invited  arrived.  With  the  ex- 
ception of  Maitre  Lefaucheur,  an  advocate,  they  were 
the  same  guests  who  came  to  the  Thursday  dinners. 


Each  had  brought  some  present — Dittmer  a  Syrian 
scarf,  Rosenwald  a  scrap-book  of  ballads,  Burieu  a 
water-colour  painting,  Sombary  one  of  his  own  cari- 
catures, and  Pellerin  a  charcoal-drawing,  representing 
a  kind  of  dance  of  death,  a  hideous  fantasy,  poorly 
executed.  Hussonnet  dispensed  with  the  formality 
of  making  a  present. 

Frederick  was  waiting  to  offer  his  gift. 

She  thanked  him  very  much  for  it.  Thereupon,  he 
said : 

"  Why,  'tis  nothing  more  than  a  debt.  I  have  been 
so  much  annoyed " 

"  At  what,  pray  ?  "  she  returned.  "  I  don't  under- 

"  Come!  dinner  is  waiting!  "  said  Arnoux,  catching 
hold  of  his  arm ;  then  in  a  whisper :  "  You  are  not  very 
knowing,  certainly !  " 

Nothing  could  well  be  prettier  than  the  dining-room, 
decorated  in  water-green.  Through  the  open  windows 
the  entire  garden  could  be  seen  with  the  long  lawn 
flanked  by  an  old  Scotch  fir. 

They  chatted  first  about  the  view  before  them,  then 
about  scenery  in  general ;  and  they  were  beginning  to 
plunge  into  discussions  when  Arnoux,  at  half-past 
nine  o'clock,  ordered  the  carriage  to  be  brought  round. 

"  Would  you  like  me  to  go  back  with  you  ?  "  said 
Madame  Arnoux. 

"  Why,  certainly !  "  and,  making  her  a  graceful  bow  : 
"  You  know  well,  Madame,  that  it  is  impossible  to  live 
without  you !  " 

Everyone  congratulated  her  on  having  so  good  a 

"  Ah !  it  is  because  I  am  not  the  only  one,"  she  re- 
plied quietly,  pointing  toward  her  little  daughter. 

Then,  the  conversation  having  turned  once  more  on 


painting,  there  was  some  talk  about  a  Ruysdael,  for 
which  Arnoux  expected  a  big  sum,  and  Pellerin  asked 
him  if  it  were  true  that  the  celebrated  Saul  Mathias 
from  London  had  come  over  during  the  past  month 
to  make  him  an  offer  of  twenty-three  thousand  francs 
for  it. 

"  'Tis  an  absolute  fact !  "  and  turning  to\vard  Fred- 
erick :  "  That  was  the  very  same  gentleman  I  brought 
with  me  a  few  days  ago  to  the  Alhambra,  much  against 
my  will,  I  assure  you,  for  these  English  are  by  no 
means  congenial  companions." 

Frederick,  who  suspected  that  Mademoiselle  Vat- 
naz's  letter  contained  some  reference  to  an  intrigue, 
was  amazed  at  the  facility  with  which  my  lord  Ar- 
noux found  a  way  of  passing  it  off  as  a  perfectly 
honourable  transaction ;  but  this  new  lie,  which  was 
quite  unnecessary,  made  the  young  man  open  his  eyes 
in  speechless  astonishment. 

The  picture-dealer  added,  with  an  air  of  simplicity: 

"  What's  the  name,  by-the-by,  of  that  young  fellow, 
your  friend  ?  " 

"  Deslauriers,"  said  Frederick  quickly. 

And,  in  order  to  repair  the  injustice  which  he  felt 
he  had  done  to  his  comrade,  he  praised  him  as  one 
who  possessed  exceptional  ability. 

"  Ah !  indeed  ?  But  he  doesn't  look  such  a  fine  fel- 
low as  the  other — the  clerk  in  the  waggon  office." 

Frederick  bestowed  a  mental  imprecation  on  Dus- 
sardier.  She  would  now  be  thinking  that  he  asso- 
ciated with  the  common  herd. 

Then  they  began  to  talk  about  the  decorating  of  the 
capital — the  new  districts  of  the  city — and  the  worthy 
Oudry  happened  to  refer  to  M.  Dambreuse  as  one  of 
the  big  speculators. 

Frederick,  taking  advantage  of  the  opportunity  to 


make  a  good  figure,  remarked  that  he  was  acquainted 
with  that  gentleman.  But  Pellerin  launched  into  a 
harangue  against  shopkeepers — he  saw  no  difference 
between  them,  whether  they  were  sellers  of  candles  or 
of  money. 

When  they  had  taken  their  coffee,  while  they 
smoked,  under  the  linden-trees,  and  strolled  about  the 
garden  for  some  time,  they  went  for  a  walk  along  the 

The  party  stopped  before  a  fishmonger's  shop,  where 
a  man  was  washing  eels.  Mademoiselle  Marthe  wished 
to  look  at  them.  He  emptied  the  box  out  on  the  grass ; 
and  the  little  girl  threw  herself  on  her  knees  in  order 
to  catch  them,  laughed  with  delight,  and  then  began  to 
scream  with  terror.  They  all  got  spoiled,  and  Arnoux 
paid  for  them. 

He  next  took  it  into  his  head  to  go  out  for  a  sail  in 
the  cutter. 

One  side  of  the  horizon  was  beginning  to  assume  a 
pale  aspect,  while  on  the  other  side  a  wide  strip  of 
orange  colour  appeared,  deepening  into  purple  at  the 
summits  of  the  hills,  which  were  steeped  in  shadow. 
Madame  Arnoux  seated  herself  on  a  big  stone,  this 
glittering  splendour  forming  a  background.  The  other 
ladies  sauntered  about.  Hussonnet,  at  the  lower  end 
of  the  river's  bank,  made  ducks  and  drakes  over  the 

Arnoux  presently  returned,  followed  by  a  weather- 
beaten  long  boat,  into  which,  in  spite  of  the  most  pru- 
dent remonstrances,  he  packed  his  guests.  The  boat 
got  upset,  and  they  had  to  go  ashore  again. 

By  this  time  wax  tapers  were  burning  in  the  draw- 
ing-room, all  hung  with  chintz,  and  with  branched  can- 
dlesticks of  crystal  fixed  close  to  the  walls.  Mere 
Oudry  was  sleeping  comfortably  in  an  armchair,  and 


the  others  were  listening  to  M.  Lefaucheux  expatiating 
on  the  glories  of  the  Bar.  Madame  Arnoux  was  seated 
by  herself  near  the  window.  Frederick  went  over  to 

They  chatted  about  the  remarks  which  were  being 
made  in  their  vicinity.  She  admired  oratory ;  he  pre- 
ferred the  renown  gained  by  writing.  But,  she  ven- 
tured to  suggest,  it  must  give  a  man  greater  pleasure 
to  move  crowds  directly  by  addressing  them  in  person, 
face  to  face,  than  it  does  to  infuse  into  their  souls  by 
his  pen  all  the  sentiments  that  animate  his  own.  Such 
triumphs  as  these  did  not  tempt  Frederick  much,  as 
he  lacked  ambition. 

Then  he  broached  the  subject  of  sentimental  ad- 
ventures. She  spoke  pityingly  of  the  havoc  wrought 
by  passion,  but  expressed  indignation  at  hypocritical 
vileness,  and  this  rectitude  of  spirit  harmonised  so  well 
with  the  regular  beauty  of  her  face  that  it  seemed  in- 
deed as  if  her  physical  beauty  were  the  outcome  of 
her  moral  nature. 

She  smiled,  every  now  and  then,  letting  her  eyes 
rest  on  him  for  a  moment.  Then  he  felt  her  glances 
penetrating  his  soul  like  those  great  rays  of  sunlight 
which  descend  into  the  depths  of  the  water.  He  loved 
her  without  a  single  mental  reservation,  without  any 
hope  of  his  love  being  reciprocated,  unconditionally ; 
and  in  those  silent  transports,  which  were  like  out- 
bursts of  gratitude,  he  would  fain  have  covered  her 
forehead  with  a  rain  of  kisses.  An  inspiration  from 
within  carried  him  beyond  himself — he  felt  moved  by 
a  longing  for  self-sacrifice,  an  imperative  impulse 
toward  immediate  self-devotion,  and  it  was  all  the 
stronger  because  he  could  not  gratify  it. 

He  did  not  leave  with  the  others.  Neither  did  Hus- 
sonnet.  They  were  to  go  back  in  the  carriage;  and 


the  vehicle  was  waiting  just  in  front  of  the  steps  when 
Arnoux  rushed  into  the  garden  to  gather  some  flowers. 
Then  the  bouquet  having  been  tied  round  with  a 
thread,  as  the  stems  were  uneven,  he  searched  in  his 
pocket,  which  was  full  of  papers,  took  out  a  piece  at 
random,  wrapped  them  up,  completed  his  handiwork 
with  the  aid  of  a  strong  pin,  and  then  offered  the  flow- 
ers to  his  wife  with  a  certain  amount  of  gallant  ten- 

"Look  here,  my  darling!  Forgive  me  for  having 
forgotten  you !  " 

But  she  uttered  a  little  scream :  the  pin,  having  been 
awkwardly  fixed,  had  scratched  her,  and  she  hastened 
up  to  her  room.  They  waited  nearly  a  quarter  of  an 
hour  for  her.  At  last,  she  reappeared,  picked  up 
Marthe,  and  threw  herself  into  the  carriage. 

"  And  your  bouquet?  "  said  Arnoux. 

"  No  !  no — it  is  not  worth  while !  "  Frederick  was 
running  off  to  fetch  it  for  her ;  she  called  out  to  him : 

"  I  don't  want  it !  " 

But  he  speedily  brought  it  to  her,  saying  that  he  had 
just  put  it  into  an  envelope  again,  as  he  had  found  the 
flowers  lying  on  the  floor.  She  thrust  them  behind 
the  leathern  apron  of  the  carriage  close  to  the  seat,  and 
off  they  started. 

Frederick,  seated  by  her  side,  noticed  that  she  was 
trembling  frightfully.  Then,  when  they  had  passed 
the  bridge,  as  Arnoux  was  turning  to  the  left : 

"Why,  no!  you  are  making  a  mistake !— the  other 
way,  to  the  right !  " 

She  seemed  irritated ;  everything  annoyed  her.  At 
length,  Marthe  having  closed  her  eyes,  Madame  Ar- 
noux drew  forth  the  bouquet,  and  flung  it  out  through 
the  carriage-door,  then  caught  Frederick's  arm,  mak- 
ing a  sign  to  him  with  the  other  hand  to  say  nothing. 


After  this,  she  pressed  her  handkerchief  to  her  lips, 
and  sat  quite  motionless. 

The  two  others,  on  the  dickey,  kept  talking  about 
printing  and  about  subscribers.  Arnoux,  who  was 
driving  recklessly,  lost  his  way  in  the  middle  of  the 
Bois  de  Boulogne.  Then  they  plunged  into  narrow 
paths.  The  horse  proceeded  along  at  a  walking  pace ; 
the  branches  of  the  trees  grazed  the  hood.  Frederick 
could  see  nothing  of  Madame  Arnoux  save  her  two 
eyes.  Marthe  lay  stretched  across  her  lap  while  he 
supported  the  child's  head. 

"  She  is  tiring  you !  "  said  her  mother. 

He  replied : 

"  No !    Oh,  no !  " 

Whirlwinds  of  dust  rose  up  slowly.  They  passed 
through  Auteuil.  All  the  houses  were  closed ;  a  gas- 
lamp  here  and  there  lighted  up  the  angle  of  a  wall; 
then  again  they  were  surrounded  by  darkness.  At  one 
time  he  noticed  that  she  was  shedding  tears. 

Was  this  from  remorse  or  passion?  What  in  the 
world  was  it?  This  grief,  of  whose  exact  cause  he  was 
ignorant,  interested  him  like  a  personal  matter.  There 
was  now  a  new  bond  between  them,  as  if,  in  a  sense, 
they  were  accomplices ;  and  he  said  to  her  in  the  most 
caressing  voice  he  could  assume  : 

"You  are  ill?" 

"  Yes,  a  little,"  she  returned. 

The  carriage  rolled  on,  and  the  honeysuckles  and 
the  syringas  trailed  over  the  garden  fences,  sending 
forth  an  enervating  odour  into  the  night  air.  He  bent 
over  the  little  girl,  and  spreading  out  her  pretty  brown 
tresses,  kissed  her  softly  on  the  forehead. 

"  You  are  good !  "  said  Madame  Arnoux. 


"  Because  you  are  fond  of  children." 


"  Not  of  all  children  !  " 

He  said  no  more,  but  he  let  his  left  hand  hang  down 
by  her  side  wide  open,  fancying  that  she  might  do 
likewise,  and  that  he  would  find  her  palm  touching  his. 
Then  he  felt  ashamed  and  withdrew  it.  They  soon 
reached  the  paved  street.  The  carriage  advanced  more 
quickly ;  the  number  of  gaslights  increased — it  was 

Next  morning  he  began  working  as  hard  as  ever 
he  could. 

He  fancied  himself  in  an  Assize  Court,  on  a  winter's 
evening,  at  the  close  of  the  advocates'  speeches,  when 
the  jurymen  are  looking  pale,  and  when  the  panting 
audience  make  the  partitions  of  the  praetorium  creak; 
and  after  having  being  four  hours  speaking,  he  was 
recapitulating  all  his  proofs,  feeling  with  every  phrase, 
with  every  word,  with  every  gesture,  the  chopper  of 
the  guillotine;  which  was  suspended  behind  him,  ready 
to  fall ;  then  in  the  tribune  of  the  Chamber,  an  orator 
who  bears  on  his  lips  the  safety  of  an  entire  people, 
drowning  his  opponents  under  his  figures  of  rhetoric, 
crushing  them  under  a  repartee,  with  thunders  and 
musical  intonations  in  his  voice,  ironical,  pathetic,  fiery, 
sublime.  She  would  be  there  somewhere  amidst  the 
others,  hiding  beneath  her  veil  her  enthusiastic  tears. 

Deslauriers,  who  had  found  it  so  troublesome  to 
coach  him  once  more  for  the  second  examination  at 
the  close  of  December,  and  for  the  third  in  February, 
was  astonished  at  his  enthusiasm.  Then  the  great  ex- 
pectations of  former  days  returned.  In  ten  years  Fred- 
erick might  be  deputy  ;  in  fifteen  a  minister.  Why  not? 
With  his  patrimony,  which  would  soon  be  in  his  own 
hands,  he  might  at  first  start  a  newspaper ;  this  would 
be  the  first  step  in  his  career;  after  that  they  would 
see  what  the  future  would  bring.  As  for  himself,  he 


was  still  ambitious  of  obtaining  a  chair  in  the  Law 
School ;  and  he  sustained  his  thesis  for  the  degree  of 
Doctor  with  such  remarkable  ability  that  it  won  for 
him  the  compliments  of  the  professors. 

Three  days  afterward,  Frederick  took  his  own  de- 
gree. Before  leaving  for  his  holidays,  he  conceived  the 
idea  of  getting  up  a  picnic  to  bring  to  a  close  their 
Saturday  reunions. 

He  displayed  the  utmost  gaiety  on  the  occasion. 
Madame  Arnoux  was  at  the  time  with  her  mother  at 
Chartres.  But  he  would  soon  see  her  again,  and 
would  end  by  being  her  lover. 

Deslauriers,  admitted  the  same  day  to  the  young  ad- 
vocates' pleading  rehearsals  at  Orsay,  had  made  a 
speech  which  was  greatly  applauded.  Although  he 
was  sober,  he  drank  a  little  more  wine  than  was  good 
for  him,  and  said  to  Dussardier  at  dessert : 

"  You  are  an  honest  fellow ! — and  when  I'm  a  rich 
man  I'll  make  you  my  manager." 

All  were  delighted.  Cisy  did  not  intend  to  finish  his 
law-course.  Martinon  planned  to  remain  during  the 
period  before  his  admission  to  the  Bar,  in  the  provinces, 
where  he  would  be  nominated  a  deputy-magistrate. 
Pellerin  was  devoting  himself  to  the  production  of  a 
large  picture  representing  "  The  Genius  of  the  Revolu- 
tion." Hussonnet  was,  in  the  following  week,  to  sub- 
mit to  the  Director  of  Public  Amusements  the  scheme 
of  a  play,  and  had  no  doubt  as  to  its  success : 

"  As  for  the  framework  of  the  drama,  they  may  rely 
on  me!  As  for  the  passions,  I  have  knocked  about 
enough  to  comprehend  them  thoroughly;  and  as  for 
witticisms,  they're  entirely  in  my  line !  " 

He  gave  a  spring,  fell  on  his  two  hands,  and  thus 
moved  for  some  time  around  the  table  with  his  legs 
in  the  air.  This  performance,  worthy  of  a  street- 


urchin,  did  not  banish  Senecal's  frowns.  He  had  just 
been  dismissed  from  the  boarding-school,  in  which  he 
had  been  a  teacher,  for  having  given  a  whipping  to  an 
aristocrat's  son.  His  straitened  circumstances  had  got 
worse  in  consequence :  he  laid  the  blame  of  this  on  the 
inequalities  of  society,  and  cursed  the  wealthy.  He 
poured  out  his  grievances  into  the  sympathetic  ears  of 
Regimbart,  who  every  day  became  more  and  more  dis- 
illusioned, saddened,  and  disgusted.  The  Citizen  had 
now  turned  his  attention  toward  questions  arising  out 
of  the  Budget,  and  blamed  the  Court  party  for  the  loss 
of  millions  in  Algeria. 

As  he  could  not  sleep  without  first  paying  a  visit  to 
the  Alexandre  smoking-divan,  he  disappeared  at  eleven 
o'clock.  The  rest  went  away  some  time  afterward ; 
and  Frederick,  as  he  was  parting  with  Hussonnet, 
learned  that  Madame  Arnoux  had  been  due  the  night 

He  accordingly  went  to  the  coach-office  to  change 
his  time  for  starting  to  the  next  day  and  at  about  six 
o'clock  in  the  evening  presented  himself  at  her  house. 
Her  return,  the  doorkeeper  said,  had  been  postponed 
for  a  week.  Frederick  dined  alone,  and  then  lounged 
about  the  boulevards. 

He  stopped  in  front  of  the  theatre  of  the  Porte  Saint- 
Martin  to  look  at  the  bill ;  and,  for  want  of  something 
to  occupy  him,  paid  for  a  seat  and  went  in. 

An  old-fashioned  dramatic  version  of  a  fairy-tale 
was  being  played.  There  was  a  very  small  audience ; 
and  through  the  skylights  of  the  top  gallery  the  vault 
of  heaven  seemed  cut  up  into  little  blue  squares,  whilst 
the  stage  lamps  above  the  orchestra  formed  a  single 
line  of  yellow  illuminations. 

He  had  just  got  to  his  seat  when,  glancing  at  the 
balcony,  he  saw  a  lady  and  a  gentleman  enter  the  first 


box  in  front  of  the  stage.  The  husband  had  a  pale  face 
with  a  narrow  strip  of  grey  beard  round  it,  the  rosette 
of  a  Government  official,  and  that  frigid  look  which  is 
supposed  to  characterise  diplomatists. 

His  wife,  who  was  at  least  twenty  years  younger, 
and  who  was  neither  tall  nor  under-sized,  neither  ugly 
nor  pretty,  wore  her  fair  hair  in  corkscrew  curls  in  the 
English  fashion,  and  displayed  a  long-bodiced  dress 
and  a  large  black  lace  fan.  Frederick  could  not  recall 
to  mind  where  he  had  seen  that  face. 

In  the  next  interval  between  the  acts,  while  passing 
through  one  of  the  lobbies,  he  came  face  to  face  with 
both  of  them.  As  he  bowed  in  an  undecided  manner, 
M.  Dambreuse,  at  once  recognising  him,  came  up  and 
apologised  for  having  treated  him  with  unpardonable 
neglect.  This  was  an  allusion  to  the  numerous  visit- 
ing-cards he  had  sent  in  accordance  with  the  clerk's 
advice.  However,  he  confused  the  periods,  supposing 
that  Frederick  was  in  the  second  year  of  his  law- 
course.  Then  he  said  he  envied  the  young  man  the 
opportunity  of  going  into  the  country.  He  sadly 
needed  a  little  rest  himself,  but  business  kept  him  in 

Madame  Dambreuse,  leaning  on  his  arm,  nodded  her 
head  slightly,  and  the  agreeable  sprightliness  of  her 
face  contrasted  with  its  gloomy  expression  of  a  short 
time  before. 

"  One  finds  charming  diversions  in  it,  nevertheless," 
she  said,  after  her  husband's  last  remark.  "  What  a 
stupid  play  that  was — was  it  not,  Monsieur  ?  "  And 
all  three  of  them  remained  there  chatting  about 
theatres  and  new  pieces. 

Frederick,  accustomed  to  the  grimaces  of  provincial 
dames,  had  not  seen  in  any  woman  such  ease  of  man- 
ner combined  with  that  simplicity  which  is  the  es- 


sence  of  refinement,  and  in  which  ingenuous  souls 
imagine  the  expression  of  instantaneous  sympathy. 

They  would  anticipate  seeing  him  as  soon  as  he  re- 
turned. M.  Dambreuse  asked  him  to  give  his  kind 
remembrances  to  Pere  Roque. 

Frederick,  when  he  reached  his  lodgings,  did  not 
fail  to  inform  his  friend  Deslauriers  of  their  hospitable 

"  Splendid !  "  was  the  clerk's  reply ;  "  and  don't  let 
your  mamma  get  round  you !  Come  back  without  de- 
lay !  " 

On  the  day  after  his  arrival,  when  breakfast  was 
over,  Madame  Moreau  brought  her  son  out  into  the 

She  said  she  was  happy  to  see  him  in  a  profession, 
for  they  were  not  as  rich  as  people  thought.  The  land 
brought  in  little ;  the  people  who  farmed  it  paid  badly. 
She  had  even  been  compelled  to  part  with  her  carriage. 
Finally,  she  placed  their  situation  in  its  true  colours 
before  him. 

During  the  first  embarrassments  which  followed  the 
death  of  her  late  husband,  M.  Roque,  a  man  of  great 
cunning,  had  made  her  loans  of  money  which  had  been 
renewed,  and  left  long  unpaid,  in  spite  of  her  desire  to 
clear  them  off.  He  had  suddenly  made  a  demand  for 
immediate  payment,  and  she  had  gone  beyond  the  strict 
terms  of  the  agreement  by  giving  up  to  him,  at  an  un- 
reasonable figure,  the  farm  of  Presles.  Ten  years 
later  her  capital  was  lost  through  the  failure  of  a 
banker  at  Alelun.  Because  of  a  horror  which  she  had 
of  mortgages,  and  to  keep  up  appearances,  which  might 
be  necessary  in  view  of  her  son's  future,  she  had, 
when  Pere  Roque  presented  himself  again,  listened  to 
him  once  more.  But  now  she  was  free  from  debt.  In 
short,  there  was  left  them  an  income  of  only  about 


ten  thousand  francs,  of  which  two  thousand  three  hun- 
dred belonged  to  him — his  entire  patrimony. 

"  It  isn't  possible !  "  exclaimed  Frederick. 

She  nodded  her  head,  as  if  to  declare  that  it  was 
perfectly  possible. 

But  he  would  inherit  something  from  his  uncle? 

That  was  by  no  means  positive! 

And  they  took  a  turn  around  the  garden  without 
exchanging  a  word.  At  last  she  pressed  him  to  her 
heart,  and  in  a  voice  choked  with  rising  tears : 

"  Ah !  my  poor  boy !  I  have  had  to  relinquish  all 
my  dreams !  " 

He  seated  himself  on  a  bench  beneath  a  large  acacia. 

Her  advice  was  that  he  should  become  a  clerk  to 
M.  Prouharam,  solicitor,  who  would  assign  over  his 
office  to  him ;  if  he  increased  its  value,  he  might  sell  it 
again  and  find  a  better  practice. 

Frederick  was  no  longer  listening  to  her.  He  was 
gazing  automatically  across  the  hedge  into  the  other 
garden  opposite. 

A  little  girl  of  about  twelve  with  red  hair  was  there 
all  alone.  She  had  made  earrings  for  herself  with  the 
berries  of  the  service-tree.  Her  bodice,  made  of  grey 
linen,  allowed  her  shoulders,  slightly  burned  by  the 
hot  sun,  to  be  seen.  Her  short  white  petticoat  was 
spotted  with  berry  stains ;  and  there  was,  so  to  speak, 
the  grace  of  a  young  wild  animal  about  her  entire  per- 
son, which  was  at  the  same  time  nervous  and  thin. 
Apparently,  the  presence  of  a  stranger  astonished  her, 
for  she  had  stopped  abruptly  with  her  watering-pot  in 
her  hand  darting  glances  at  him  with  her  large  bright 
eyes,  which  were  of  a  limpid  greenish-blue  colour. 

"  That  is  Monsieur  Roque's  little  girl,"  said  Madame 
Moreau.  "  He  has  married  his  servant  after  all  and  le- 
gitimised their  child." 



STILL  seated  on  the  bench,  as  if  stunned,  he  cursed 
Fate — stripped  of  everything,  ruined.  He  would 
have  liked  to  beat  somebody ;  and,  to  increase 
his  despair,  he  felt  a  kind  of  outrage,  a  sense  of  dis- 
grace, oppressing  him ;  for  Frederick  had  been  under 
the  impression  that  the  fortune  coming  to  him  through 
his  father  would  mount  up  one  day  to  an  income  of 
fifteen  thousand  livres,  and  he  had  so  informed  the 
Arnoux'  in  an  indirect  sort  of  way.  So  now  he  would 
be  looked  upon  as  a  braggart,  a  rogue,  an  obscure 
blackguard,  who  had  forced  himself  upon  them  in  the 
expectation  of  making  some  profit  out  of  them !  And 
as  for  her — Madame  Arnoux — how  could  he  ever  see 
her  again  ? 

Moreover,  all  that  he  had  hoped  was  completely 
impossible  when  he  had  only  a  yearly  income  of  three 
thousand  francs.  He  could  not  always  lodge  on  the 
fourth  floor,  have  the  doorkeeper  as  a  servant,  and 
make  his  appearance  with  wretched  black  gloves  turn- 
ing blue  at  the  ends,  a  greasy  hat,  and  the  same  frock- 
coat  for  a  whole  year.  No,  no  !  never !  And  yet  with- 
out her  existence  was  intolerable.  Some  people  were 
able  to  live  without  any  fortune,  Deslauriers  amongst 
the  rest ;  and  he  thought  himself  a  coward  to  attach 
so  much  importance  to  matters  of  trifling  conse- 
quence. Necessity  would  perhaps  multiply  his  facul- 
ties a  hundredfold.  He  tried  to  inspire  himself  by 


thinking  of  the  great  men  who  had  worked  in  garrets. 
A  soul  like  that  of  Madame  Arnoux  ought  to  be 
touched  at  such  a  spectacle,  and  moved  by  it  to  sym- 
pathetic tenderness.  So,  after  all,  this  catastrophe  was 
a  piece  of  good  fortune ;  like  those  earthquakes  which 
unveil  treasures,  it  had  revealed  to  him  the  hidden 
wealth  of  his  nature.  But  there  was  only  one  place 
in  the  world  where  this  could  be  utilised — Paris ;  for 
to  his  mind,  art,  science,  and  love  (those  three  faces 
of  God,  as  Pellerin  would  have  said)  were  associated 
exclusively  with  the  capital.  That  evening,  he  in- 
formed his  mother  of  his  intention  to  go  back  there. 
Madame  Moreau  was  surprised  and  indignant.  She 
regarded  it  as  a  foolish  and  absurd  course.  It  would 
be  far  better  to  follow  her  advice,  namely,  to  remain 
near  her  in  an  office.  Frederick  shrugged  his  shoul- 
ders, "  Come  now  " — looking  on  this  proposal  as  an 
insult  to  himself. 

Thereupon,  the  good  lady  followed  another  course. 
In  a  tender  voice  broken  by  sobs  she  began  to  speak 
of  her  solitude,  her  old  age,  and  the  sacrifices  she  had 
made  for  him.  Now  that  she  was  more  unhappy 
than  ever,  he  was  abandoning  her.  Then,  alluding  to 
the  anticipated  close  of  her  life : 

"A  little  patience — good  heavens!  you  will  soon 
be  free !  " 

These  lamentations  were  renewed  twenty  times  a 
day  for  three  months ;  and  at  the  same  time  the  lux- 
uries of  a  home  made  him  effeminate.  He  found  it 
enjoyable  to  have  a  softer  bed  and  napkins  that  were 
not  torn ;  so  that,  weary,  enervated,  overcome  by  the 
insinuating  force  of  comfort,  Frederick  allowed  him- 
self to  be  brought  to  Maitre  Prouharam's  office. 

He  displayed  neither  knowledge  nor  aptitude.  Up 
to  this  time,  he  had  been  regarded  as  a  young  man  of 


great  means  who  would  probably  be  the  shining  light 
of  the  Department.  The  public  would  now  come  to 
the  conclusion  that  he  was  an  impostor. 

At  first,  he  said  to  himself: 

"  It  is  necessary  to  inform  Madame  Arnoux  about 
it :  "  and  for  a  whole  week  he  kept  formulating  in 
his  own  mind  dithyrambic  letters  and  short  notes  in 
an  eloquent  and  sublime  style.  The  fear  of  avowing 
his  actual  position  restrained  him.  Then  he  thought 
that  it  might  be  better  to  write  to  the  husband.  Ar- 
noux knew  life  and  could  appreciate  the  true  state  of 
the  case.  At  length,  after  a  fortnight's  hesitation : 

"  Bah  !  I  ought  not  to  see  them  any  more :  let  them 
forget  me !  At  any  rate,  I  shall  be  cherished  in  her 
memory  without  having  grown  less  in  her  estimation! 
She  will  believe  that  I  am  dead,  and  will  regret  me — 

As  extravagant  resolutions  cost  him  little,  he  swore 
in  his  own  mind  that  he  would  never  return  to  Paris, 
and  that  he  would  not  even  make  inquiries  about 
Madame  Arnoux. 

He  arose  very  late,  and  looked  through  the  window 
at  the  passing  teams  of  waggoners.  The  first  six 
months  especially  were  hateful. 

On  certain  days,  however,  he  was  possessed  by  a 
feeling  of  indignation  even  against  her.  Then  he 
would  wander  through  the  meadows,  half  covered  in 
winter  time  by  the  inundations  of  the  Seine.  They 
were  divided  up  by  rows  of  poplar-trees.  Here  and 
there  was  a  little  bridge.  He  tramped  about  till  even- 
ing, rolling  the  yellow  leaves  under  his  feet,  inhaling 
the  fog,  and  jumping  over  the  ditches.  As  his  arteries 
began  to  throb  more  vigorously,  he  felt  himself  car- 
ried away  by  a  desire  to  do  something  wild ;  he  longed 
to  become  a  trapper  in  America,  to  attend  on  a  pasha 


in  the  East,  to  take  ship  as  a  sailor ;  and  he  gave  vent 
to  his  melancholy  in  long  letters  to  Deslauriers. 

The  latter  was  struggling  to  get  on.  The  idleness 
of  his  friend  and  his  eternal  jeremiads  appeared  to 
him  simply  stupid.  Their  correspondence  soon  became 
a  mere  form.  Frederick  had  left  all  his  furniture 
with  Deslauriers,  who  stayed  on  in  the  same  lodgings. 
From  time  to  time  his  mother  mentioned  it.  One  day 
he  told  her  about  the  present  he  had  made,  and  she 
was  giving  him  a  rating  for  it,  when  a  letter  was  placed 
in  his  hands. 

"  What  is  the  matter  now  ? "  she  said,  "  you  are 

;'  There  is  nothing  the  matter  with  me,"  replied 

Deslauriers  informed  him  that  he  had  taken  Senecal 
under  his  protection,  and  that  for  the  past  fortnight 
they  had  been  living  together.  So  now  Senecal  was 
settled  in  the  midst  of  things  that  had  come  from  the 
Arnoux's  shop.  He  might  sell  them,  criticise,  make 
jokes  about  them.  Frederick  was  wounded  in  the 
depths  of  his  soul.  He  went  up  to  his  own  apartment. 
He  felt  a  yearning  for  death. 

His  mother  called  him  to  consult  him  about  some 
plants  in  the  garden. 

This  garden  was,  after  the  fashion  of  an  English 
park,  divided  in  the  middle  by  a  stick  fence ;  and  the 
half  of  it  belonged  to  Pere  Roque,  who  had  another 
garden  for  vegetables  on  the  bank  of  the  river.  The 
two  neighbours,  having  disagreed,  abstained  from  mak- 
ing their  appearance  there  at  the  same  hour.  But  since 
Frederick's  return  the  old  gentlemen  used  to  walk 
about  them  more  frequently,  and  was  not  stinted  in 
his  courtesies  towards  Madame  Moreau's  son.  He 
sympathised  with  the  young  man  for  having  to  live 


in  a  country  town.  One  day  he  told  him  that  Madame 
Dambreuse  had  been  anxious  to  hear  from  him.  On 
another  occasion  he  expatiated  on  the  custom  of  Cham- 
pagne, where  the  stomach  conferred  nobility. 

"  At  that  time  you  would  have  been  a  lord,  since 
your  mother's  name  was  De  Fouvens.  And  'tis  all 
very  well  to  talk — never  mind !  there's  something  in 
a  name.  After  all,"  he  added,  with  a  sly  glance  at 
Frederick,  "  that  depends  on  the  Keeper  of  the  Seals." 

This  pretension  to  aristocracy  contrasted  strangely 
with  his  personal  appearance.  As  he  was  small,  his 
big  chestnut-coloured  frock-coat  exaggerated  the 
length  of  his  bust.  When  he  removed  his  hat,  a  face 
almost  like  that  of  a  woman  with  an  extremely  sharp 
nose  could  be  seen ;  his  hair,  which  was  of  a  yellow 
colour,  resembled  a  wig.  He  saluted  people  with  a 
very  low  bow,  brushing  against  the  wall. 

Up  to  his  fiftieth  year  he  had  been  content  with  the 
domestic  services  of  Catherine,  a  native  of  Lorraine,  of 
the  same  age  as  himself  and  strongly  marked  with 
smallpox.  But  in  the  year  1834,  he  brought  back  with 
him  from  Paris  a  handsome  blonde  with  a  sheep-like 
type  of  countenance  and  a  "  queenly  carriage."  Ere 
long,  she  was  noticed  strutting  about  with  large  ear- 
rings ;  and  everything  was  explained  by  the  birth  of 
a  daughter  who  was  introduced  to  the  world  under 
the  name  of  Elisabeth  Olympe  Louise  Roque. 

Catherine,  in  her  first  ebullition  of  jealousy,  ex- 
pected that  she  would  hate  this  child.  On  the  con- 
trary, she  became  fond  of  the  little  girl,  and  treated 
her  with  the  utmost  care,  consideration,  and  tender- 
ness, in  order  to  win  her  affections  from  her  mother 
and  render  her  odious — an  easy  task,  inasmuch  as 
Madame  Eleonore  entirely  neglected  the  little  one, 
preferring  to  gossip  at  the  tradesmen's  shops.  On 


the  day  after  her  marriage,  she  paid  a  visit  at  the  Sub- 
prefecture,  no  longer  "  thee'd  "  and  "  thou'd  "  the 
servants,  and  took  it  into  her  head  that,  as  a  matter 
of  good  form,  she  ought  to  exhibit  a  certain  severity 
toward  the  child.  She  was  present  while  the  little 
one  was  at  her  lessons.  The  teacher,  an  old  clerk  who 
had  been  employed  at  the  Mayor's  office,  did  not  know 
how  to  set  about  instructing  the  girl.  The  pupil  re- 
belled, got  her  ears  boxed,  and  rushed  away  to  shed 
tears  on  the  lap  of  Catherine,  who  always  took  her 
part.  After  this  the  two  women  wrangled,  and  M. 
Roque  ordered  them  to  hold  their  tongues.  He  had 
married  only  out  of  tender  regard  for  his  little  daugh- 
ter, and  did  not  wish  to  be  annoyed  by  them. 

Louise  wore  a  white  dress  with  ribbons,  and 
pantalettes  trimmed  with  lace ;  and  on  great  festival- 
days  she  would  leave  the  house  attired  like  a  princess, 
in  order  to  mortify  the  matrons  of  the  town,  who 
forbade  their  children  to  associate  with  her  on  account 
of  her  illegitimate  birth. 

She  passed  her  life  mostly  by  herself  in  the  garden, 
went  see-sawing  in  the  swing,  chased  butterflies,  then 
suddenly  stopped  to  watch  the  floral  beetles  swooping 
down  on  the  rose-trees.  It  was,  no  doubt,  these 
habits  which  imparted  to  her  face  an  expression  at  the 
same  time  of  audacity  and  dreaminess.  She  had,  more- 
over, a  figure  like  Marthe,  so  that  at  their  second  in- 
terview Frederick  said  to  her: 

"  Will  you  permit  me  to  kiss  you,  Mademoiselle  ?  " 

The  little  girl  lifted  up  her  head  and  replied : 

"I  will!" 

But  the  stick-hedge  separated  them. 

"  We  must  climb  over,"  said  Frederick. 

"  No,  lift  me  up !  " 

He  stooped  over  the  hedge,  and  raising  her  off  the 


ground,  kissed  her  on  both  cheeks ;  then  he  put  her 
back  on  her  own  side ;  and  this  performance  was  re- 
peated on  the  next  occasions  when  they  met. 

With  less  reserve  than  a  child  of  four,  as  soon  as 
she  heard  her  friend  coming,  she  sprang  forward  to 
meet  him,  or  else,  hiding  behind  a  tree,  she  began 
yelping  like  a  dog  to  frighten  him. 

One  day,  when  Madame  Moreau  was  out,  he 
brought  her  up  to  his  own  room.  She  opened  all  the 
scent-bottles,  and  pomaded  her  hair  plentifully ;  then, 
without  the  slightest  embarrassment,  she  lay  down  on 
the  bed,  where  she  remained  stretched  out  at  full 
length,  wide  awake. 

"  I  fancy  myself  your  wife,"  she  said  to  him. 

Next  day  he  found  her  in  tears.  She  confessed 
that  she  had  been  "  weeping  for  her  sins ;  "  and,  when 
he  wished  to  know  what  they  were,  she  hung  down 
her  head,  and  answered : 

"  Ask  me  no  more !  " 

The  time  for  first  communion  was  at  hand.  She 
had  been  taken  to  confession  in  the  morning.  The 
sacrament  scarcely  made  her  wiser.  Occasionally,  she 
flew  into  a  real  passion ;  and  Frederick  was  sent  for 
to  appease  her. 

He  often  took  her  with  him  in  his  walks.  While 
he  indulged  in  day-dreams  as  he  walked  along,  she 
would  gather  wild  poppies  at  the  edges  of  the  corn- 
fields ;  and,  when  she  saw  him  more  melancholy  than 
usual,  she  tried  to  cheer  him  with  her  pretty  childish 
prattle.  His  heart,  bereft  of  love,  fell  back  on  this 
friendship  inspired  by  a  little  girl.  He  gave  her 
sketches  of  old  fogies,  told  her  stories,  and  read  books 
to  her. 

He  began  with  the  Annalcs  Romantiques,  a  collec- 
tion of  prose  and  verse  popular  at  the  period.  Then, 


forgetting  her  age,  so  much  was  he  charmed  by  her 
intelligence,  he  read  for  her  in  succession,  Atala,  Cinq- 
Mars,  and  Lcs  Fcuillcs  d'Automnc.  One  night  (she 
had  that  very  evening  heard  Macbeth  in  Letourneur's 
simple  translation)  she  woke  up,  exclaiming: 

"  The  spot !  the  spot !  "  Her  teeth  chattered,  she 
shivered,  and,  fixing  terrified  glances  on  her  right 
hand,  she  kept  rubbing  it,  saying: 

"  Always  a  spot !  " 

At  last  a  doctor  was  brought,  who  ordered  that 
she  should  be  kept  free  from  violent  emotions. 

The  townsfolk  saw  in  all  this  only  an  unfavourable 
prognostic  for  her  morals.  It  was  said  that  "  young 
Moreau  "  wished  to  make  an  actress  of  her  later. 

Soon  another  event  became  the  subject  of  discus- 
sion— namely,  the  arrival  of  Uncle  Barthelemy.  Ma- 
dame Moreau  gave  up  her  sleeping-apartment  to  him, 
and  was  so  gracious  as  to  serve  up  meat  to  him  on 

The  old  man  was  not  very  amiable.  He  was  per- 
petually making  comparisons  between  Havre  and 
Nogent,  the  air  of  which  he  considered  heavy,  the 
bread  bad,  the  streets  ill-paved,  the  food  indifferent, 
and  the  inhabitants  very  lazy.  "  How  miserable  trade 
is  with  you  in  this  place !  "  He  blamed  his  deceased 
brother  for  his  extravagance,  pointing  out  by  way  of 
contrast  how  he  had  himself  accumulated  an  income 
of  twenty-seven  thousand  livres  a  year.  He  left  at 
the  end  of  the  week,  and  on  the  footboard  of  the  car- 
riage gave  utterance  to  these  by  no  means  reassuring 
words : 

"  I  am  always  very  glad  to  feel  that  you  are  in  a 
comfortable  position." 

"  You  will  get  nothing,"  said  Madame  Moreau  as 
they  reentered  the  dining-room. 


He  had  come  only  at  her  urgent  request,  and  for 
eight  days  she  had  been  seeking  for  an  opening — only 
too  obviously  perhaps.  She  repented  now  of  having 
done  so,  and  remained  seated  in  her  armchair  with 
her  head  bent  and  her  lips  tightly  pressed  together. 
Frederick  sat  opposite,  staring  at  her;  and  they  were 
both  silent,  as  they  had  been  five  years  before  on  his 
return  home  by  the  Montereau  steamboat.  This  coin- 
cidence, which  presented  itself  even  to  her  mind,  re- 
called Madame  Arnoux  to  his  recollection. 

At  that  moment  the  crack  of  a  whip  outside  the 
window  reached  their  ears,  while  a  voice  was  heard 
calling  out  to  him. 

It  was  Pere  Roque,  who  was  alone  in  his  tilted  cart. 
He  was  going  to  spend  the  whole  day  at  La  Fortelle 
with  M.  Dambreuse,  and  cordially  offered  to  take 
Frederick  with  him. 

"  You  have  no  need  of  an  invitation  as  long  as  you 
are  with  me.  Don't  be  afraid !  " 

Frederick  felt  inclined  to  accept  this  offer.  But  how 
would  he  explain  his  fixed  sojourn  at  Nogent?  He 
had  no  proper  summer  suit.  Finally,  what  would  his 
mother  say?  He  accordingly  decided  not  to  go. 

From  that  time,  their  neighbour  exhibited  less 
friendliness.  Louise  was  growing  tall ;  Madame 
Eleonore  fell  dangerously  ill ;  and  the  intimacy  was 
broken,  to  the  great  delight  of  Madame  Moreau,  who 
feared  lest  her  son's  prospects  of  being  settled  in  life 
might  be  affected  by  association  with  such  people. 

She  was  thinking  of  purchasing  for  him  the  regis- 
trarship  of  the  Court  of  Justice.  Frederick  raised  no 
particular  objection  to  this  scheme.  He  now  accom- 
panied her  to  mass;  in  the  evening  he  took  a  hand 
hi  a  game  of  "  all  fours."  He  had  become  accus- 
tomed to  provincial  habits  of  life,  and  allowed  himself 


to  slide  into  them;  and  even  his  love  had  assumed  a 
character  of  mournful  sweetness,  a  kind  of  soporific 

One  day,  the  i2th  of  December,  1845,  about  nine 
o'clock  in  the  morning,  the  cook  brought  up  a  letter 
to  his  room.  The  address,  which  was  in  big  charac- 
ters, was  written  in  a  hand  he  was  not  familiar  with ; 
and  Frederick,  feeling  sleepy,  was  in  no  great  haste 
to  break  the  seal.  At  length,  when  he  did  so,  he  read : 

"Justice    of   the  Peace  at    Havre, 

i nth  Arrondissement. 

"MONSIEUR, — Monsieur  Moreau,    your  uncle,  having  died  in- 
testate  " 

He  had  fallen  in  for  the  inheritance !  As  if  a  con- 
flagration had  burst  out  behind  the  wall,  he  jumped 
out  of  bed,  and  flung  the  window  wide  open. 

He  read  the  letter  over  three  times  in  succession. 
Could  there  be  anything  more  certain?  His  uncle's 
entire  fortune !  A  yearly  income  more  than  a  thou- 
sand pounds !  And  he  was  overwhelmed  with  frantic 
joy  at  the  thought  of  seeing  Madame  Arnoux  once 
more.  Then  he  thought  of  his  mother;  and  he  de- 
scended the  stairs  with  the  letter  in  his  hand. 

Madame  Moreau  made  an  effort  to  control  her  emo- 
tion, but  could  not  keep  herself  from  swooning.  Fred- 
erick caught  her  in  his  arms  and  kissed  her  on  the 

"  Dear  mother,  you  can  now  buy  back  your  car- 
riage— laugh  then !  shed  no  more  tears !  be  happy !  " 

Ten  minutes  later  the  news  had  travelled  as  far  as 
the  faubourgs.  Then  M.  Benoist,  M.  Gamblin,  M. 
Chambion,  and  other  friends  hurried  toward  the 
house.  Frederick  left  them  a  minute  in  order  to  write 
to  Deslauriers.  Then  other  visitors  arrived.  The 
afternoon  passed  in  congratulations.  They  had  for- 


gotten  all  about  "  Roque's  wife,"  who  was  declared 
to  be  "  very  low." 

When  they  were  alone,  the  same  evening,  Madame 
Moreau  advised  her  son  to  set  up  as  an  advocate  at 
Troyes.  As  he  was  better  known  in  his  own  part  of 
the  country  than  in  any  other,  he  would  more  easily 
find  there  a  profitable  connection. 

"  Ah,  it  is  too  hard !  "  exclaimed  Frederick.  He 
had  scarcely  grasped  his  good  fortune  in  his  hands 
when  he  yearned  to  carry  it  to  Madame  Arnoux.  He 
announced  his  express  determination  to  live  in  Paris. 

"  And  what  are  you  going  to  do  there  ?  " 

"  Nothing !  " 

Madame  Moreau,  astonished  at  his  manner,  asked 
what  he  intended  to  become. 

"  A  minister,"  was  Frederick's  reply.  And  he  de- 
clared that  he  was  not  joking,  that  he  meant  to  plunge 
at  once  into  diplomacy,  and  that  his  studies  and 
his  instincts  impelled  him  in  that  direction.  He  would 
first  enter  the  Council  of  State  under  M.  Dambreuse's 

"  So  then,  you  are  acquainted  with  him  ?  " 

"  Oh,  yes — through  M.  Roque." 

"  That  is  singular,"  said  Madame  Moreau.  He  had 
stirred  in  her  heart  her  former  ambitious  dreams. 
She  internally  abandoned  herself  to  them,  and  said 
no  more  about  other  matters. 

If  he  had  yielded  to  his  impatience,  Frederick  would 
have  left  that  very  instant.  Next  morning  every  seat 
in  the  diligence  had  been  engaged ;  and  so  he  kept 
eating  out  his  heart  till  seven  o'clock  in  the  evening. 

They  were  seated  at  dinner  when  three  prolonged 
tolls  of  the  church-bell  fell  on  their  ears ;  and  the 
housemaid,  coming  in,  informed  them  that  Madame 
Eleonore  had  just  died. 


This  death,  after  all,  was  not  a  misfortune  for  any- 
one, not  even  for  her  child.  The  young  girl  would 
only  find  it  advantageous  for  herself  afterward. 

As  the  two  houses  were  close  to  each  other,  a  great 
coming  and  going  and  a  clatter  of  tongues  could  be 
heard ;  and  the  idea  of  this  corpse  being  so  near  threw 
a  certain  funereal  gloom  over  their  parting.  Madame 
Moreau  wiped  her  eyes  two  or  three  times.  Frederick 
felt  his  heart  oppressed. 

When  the  meal  was  over,  Catherine  stopped  him 
between  two  doors.  Mademoiselle  had  expressed  a 
wish  to  see  him.  She  was  waiting  for  him  in  the 
garden.  He  went  out  there,  strode  over  the  hedge, 
and  knocking  more  or  less  against  the  trees,  directed 
his  steps  toward  M.  Roque's  house.  Lights  glittered 
through  a  window  in  the  second  story,  then  a  form 
appeared  in  the  midst  of  the  darkness  and  a  voice 
whispered : 

"Tis  I!" 

She  seemed  to  him  taller  than  usual,  probably  owing 
to  her  black  dress.  Not  knowing  what  to  say  to  her, 
he  contented  himself  with  catching  her  hands,  and 
sighing : 

"  Ah  !  my  poor  Louise  !  " 

She  did  not  reply.  She  gazed  at  him  for  a  long 
time  with  an  expression  of  sad,  deep  earnestness. 

Frederick  was  afraid  of  missing  the  coach ;  he 
fancied  that  he  could  hear  the  rolling  of  wheels  some 
distance  away,  and,  in  order  to  put  an  end  to  the 
interview : 

"  Catherine  told  me  that  you  had  something — 

"  Yes — 'tis  true  !     I  wanted  to  tell  you " 

He  was  astonished  to  find  that  she  addressed  him 
in  the  plural ;  and,  as  she  again  stopped : 

"Well,  what?" 


"  I  don't  know.  I  cannot  remember !  Is  it  true  that 
you're  going  away  ?  " 

"  Yes,  I'm  starting  now." 

She  repeated  :  "  Ah,  now  ? — for  good  ? — we'll  never 
meet  again  ?  " 

She  was  choking  with  sobs. 

"  Good-bye !  good-bye  !  embrace  me  then  !  " 

And  passionately  she  threw  her  arms  about  him. 



FREDERICK  plunged  into  an  intoxicating  dream 
of  the  future,  after  he  had  seated  himself  be- 
hind the  other  passengers  in  the  front  of  the 
diligence  and  the  five  horses  had  started  off  at  a  brisk 
trot.  As  an  architect  draws  up  the  plan  of  a  palace, 
so  he  mapped  out  his  future  life.  He  filled  it  with 
dainties  and  with  splendours;  it  rose  up  to  the  sky; 
there  was  a  profuse  display  of  allurements;  and  so 
deeply  was  he  buried  in  the  contemplation  of  these 
things  that  he  became  oblivious  to  all  external  objects. 

At  the  foot  of  the  hill  of  Sourdun  his  attentions 
were  directed  to  the  stage  which  they  had  reached  in 
their  journey.  They  had  not  travelled  more  than  five 
kilometres  *  at  the  most.  He  was  annoyed  at  this 
tardy  rate  of  travelling.  He  pulled  down  the  coach- 
window  in  order  to  get  a  view  of  the  road.  He  asked 
the  conductor  several  times  at  what  hour  they  were 
due  at  their  destination.  However,  he  eventually  re- 
gained his  composure,  and  remained  seated  in  his 
corner  of  the  vehicle  with  wide-open  eyes. 

At  Mormans,  the  clocks  struck  a  quarter  past  one. 

"  So  then  we  are  in  another  day,"  he  thought,  "  we 
have  been  in  it  for  some  time !  " 

Gradually  his  hopes  and  his  recollections,  Nogent, 
the  Rue  de  Choiseul,  Madame  Arnoux,  and  his 
mother,  were  all  confused  together. 

*  A  little  over  three  miles.— TRANSLATOR.  ' 


He  was  awakened  by  the  dull  sound  of  wheels  pass- 
ing over  planks :  they  were  crossing  the  Pont  de 
Charenton — it  was  Paris.  Then  his  two  travelling 
companions,  the  first  taking  off  his  cap,  and  the  second 
his  silk  handkerchief,  put  on  their  hats,  and  began  'to 

The  first,  a  big,  red-faced  man  in  a  velvet  frock- 
coat,  was  a  merchant;  the  second  was  coming  up  to 
the  capital  to  consult  a  physician ;  and,  fearing  that 
he  had  disturbed  this  gentleman  during  the  night, 
Frederick  spontaneously  apologised  to  him,  so  much 
had  the  young  man's  heart  been  softened  by  the  happi- 
ness that  possessed"  it.  They  turned  into  Ivry,  then 
drove  up  a  street:  all  at  once,  he  saw  before  him  the 
dome  of  the  Pantheon. 

They  were  kept  waiting  a  long  time  at  the  barrier, 
for  vendors  of  poultry,  waggoners,  and  a  flock  of  sheep 
caused  an  obstruction  there.  The  conductor  uttered 
his  sonorous  shout: 

"  Look  alive !  look  alive !  oho !  "  and  the  scavengers 
drew  out  of  the  way,  the  pedestrians  sprang  back,  the 
mud  gushed  against  the  coach-windows ;  they  passed 
dung-carts,  cabs,  and  omnibuses.  At  length,  the  iron 
gate  of  the  Jardin  des  Plantes  came  into  sight. 

They  once  more  crossed  the  Seine  over  the  Pont- 
Neuf,  descended  in  the  direction  of  the  Louvre ;  and, 
having  traversed  the  Rues  Saint-Honore,  Croix  des 
Petits-Champs,  and  Du  Bouloi,  reached  the  Rue  Coq- 
Heron,  and  entered  the  courtyard  of  the  hotel. 

So  that  his  enjoyment  might  last  the  longer,  Fred- 
erick dressed  himself  as  slowly  as  possible,  and  even 
walked  as  far  as  the  Boulevard  Montmarte.  He  smiled 
at  the  thought  of  presently  beholding  once  more  the 
beloved  name  on  the  marble  plate. 

He  hastened  to  the  Rue  de  Choiseul.     M.  and  Ma- 


dame  Arnoux  no  longer  lived  there,  and  a  woman  next 
door  was  keeping  an  eye  on  the  porter's  lodge.  Fred- 
erick waited  to  see  the  porter  himself.  After  some 
time  he  made  his  appearance — it  was  no  longer  the 
same  man.  He  did  not  know  their  address. 

Frederick  went  into  a  cafe,  and,  while  at  breakfast, 
consulted  the  Commercial  Directory.  There  were 
three  hundred  Arnoux  in  it,  but  not  one  Jacques  Ar- 
noux. Where,  then,  could  they  be  living?  Pellerin 
ought  to  know. 

He  made  his  way  to  the  top  of  the  Faubourg  Pois- 
sonniere,  to  the  artist's  studio.  As  the  door  had  neither 
a  bell  nor  a  knocker,  he  rapped  loudly  on  it  with  his 
knuckles,  and  then  called  out — shouted.  But  the  only 
response  was  the  echo  of  his  voice  from  the  empty 

Then  he  thought  of  Hussonnet ;  but  where  could 
one  discover  a  man  of  that  sort?  On  one  occasion  he 
had  waited  on  Hussonnet  when  the  latter  was  paying 
a  visit  at  his  mistress's  house  in  the  Rue  de  Fleurus. 
Frederick  had  just  reached  the  Rue  de  Fleurus  when 
he  realised  that  he  did  not  even  know  the  young 
woman's  name. 

He  had  recourse  to  the  Prefecture  of  Police.  He 
wandered  from  staircase  to  staircase,  from  office  to 
office.  He  found  that  the  Intelligence  Department  was 
closed  for  the  day,  and  was  told  to  come  back  again 
next  morning. 

Then  he  called  at  all  the  picture-dealers'  shops  that 
he  could  find,  and  inquired  whether  they  could  give 
him  any  information  as  to  Arnoux's  whereabouts.  The 
only  answer  he  got  was  that  M.  Arnoux  was  no  longer 
in  the  trade. 

At  last,  discouraged,  weary,  sickened,  he  returned 
to  his  hotel,  and  went  to  bed.  Just  as  he  was  stretch- 


ing  himself  between  the  sheets,  an  idea  flashed  upon 
him  which  made  him  leap  up  with  delight : 

"Regimbart!  what  a  stupid  I  was  not  to  think  of 
him  before !  " 

Next  morning,  at  seven  o'clock,  he  arrived  in  the 
Rue  Notre  Dame  des  Victoires,  in  front  of  a  dram- 
shop, where  Regimbart  habitually  drank  white  wine. 
It  was  not  yet  open.  He  walked  about  the  neighbour- 
hood, and  at  the  end  of  about  half-an-hour,  presented 
himself  at  the  place  again.  Regimbart  had  left. 

Frederick  rushed  out  into  the  street.  He  fancied 
that  he  could  see  Regimbart's  hat  some  distance  away. 
A  hearse  and  some  mourning  coaches  intercepted  his 
progress.  When  they  had  got  out  of  the  way,  the 
vision  had  disappeared. 

Fortunately,  he  recalled  to  mind  that  the  Citizen 
breakfasted  every  day  at  eleven  o'clock  sharp,  at  a 
little  restaurant  in  the  Place  Gaillon.  All  he  had  to  do 
was  to  wait  patiently  till  then ;  and,  after  wandering 
about  from  the  Bourse  to  the  Madeleine,  and  from  the 
Madeleine  to  the  Gymnase;  so  long  that  it  seemed  un- 
ending, Frederick,  just  as  the  clocks  were  striking 
eleven,  entered  the  restaurant  in  the  Rue  Gaillon,  con- 
vinced that  he  would  find  Regimbart  there. 

"  Don't  know !  "  said  the  restaurant-keeper,  in  an 
unceremonious  tone. 

Frederick  persisted  :  the  man  replied  : 

"  I  have  no  longer  any  acquaintance  with  him,  Mon- 
sieur " — and,  as  he  spoke,  he  raised  his  eyebrows  ma- 
jestically and  shook  his  head  in  a  mysterious  fashion. 

But  in  their  last  interview,  the  Citizen  had  men- 
tioned the  Alexandre  smoking-divan.  Frederick  swal- 
lowed a  cake,  jumped  into  a  cab,  and  asked  the  driver 
whether  there  happened  to  be  anywhere  on  the  heights 
of  Sainte-Genevieve  a  certain  Cafe  Alexandre.  The 


cabman  drove  him  to  the  Rue  des  Francs  Bourgeois 
Saint-Michel,  where  there  was  an  establishment  of  that 
name,  and  in  answer  to  his  question : 

"  Monsieur  Regimbart,  if  you  please?  "  the  keeper  of 
the  cafe  said  with  an  unusually  gracious  smile: 

"  He  has  not  arrived  as  yet,  Monsieur,"  while  he 
directed  toward  his  wife,  who  sat  behind  the  counter, 
a  look  of  intelligence.  And  the  next  moment,  turning 
toward  the  clock : 

"  But  he'll  be  here,  I  hope,  in  ten  minutes,  or  at  most 
a  quarter  of  an  hour.  Celestin,  hurry  with  the  news- 
papers !  What  would  Monsieur  like  to  take  ?  " 

Though  he  did  not  desire  anything,  Frederick  swal- 
lowed a  glass  of  rum,  then  a  glass  of  kirsch,  then  a 
glass  of  curagoa,  then  several  glasses  of  grog,  both 
cold  and  hot.  He  read  through  that  day's  Siecle,  and 
then  re-read  it ;  he  examined  the  caricatures  in  the 
Charii'ari  down  to  the  very  tissue  of  the  paper.  When 
he  had  finished,  he  knew  the  advertisements  by  heart. 

What  in  the  world  could  Regimbart  be  doing? 
Frederick  waited  in  an  exceedingly  miserable  frame  of 

At  length  when  it  was  half-past  four,  Frederick, 
who  had  been  there  since  about  twelve,  sprang  to  his 
feet,  and  declared  that  he  would  not  wait  any  longer. 

"  I  can't  understand  it  at  all  myself,"  replied  the 
cafe-keeper,  in  a  straightforward  tone.  "  This  is  the 
first  time  that  M.  Ledoux  has  failed  to  come !  " 

"  What !  Monsieur  Ledoux  ?  " 

"  Why,  yes,  Monsieur !  " 

"  I  said  Regimbart,"  exclaimed  Frederick,  exas- 

"  Ah !  a  thousand  pardons  !  You  are  making  a  mis- 
take !  Madame  Alexandre,  did  not  Monsieur  say  Mon- 
sieur Ledoux  ?  " 


And,  questioning  the  waiter :  "  You  heard  him  your- 
self, just  as  I  did  ?  " 

No  doubt,  to  pay  his  master  off  for  old  scores,  the 
waiter  contented  himself  with  smiling. 

Frederick  drove  back  to  the  boulevards,  furious  at 
having  his  time  wasted,  raging  against  the  Citizen, 
but  longing  for  his  presence  as  if  for  that  of  a  god, 
and  firmly  resolved  to  drag  him  forth,  if  necessary, 
from  the  depths  of  the  most  remote  cellars.  In  one 
cafe  he  was  told  that  Regimbart  had  just  gone  out; 
in  another,  that  he  might  perhaps  call  at  a  later  hour; 
in  a  third,  that  they  had  not  seen  him  for  six  months ; 
and,  in  another  place,  that  he  had  the  day  before  or- 
dered a  leg  of  mutton  for  Saturday.  Finally,  at  Vau- 
tier's  dining-rooms,  Frederick,  on  opening  the  door, 
knocked  against  the  waiter. 

"  Do  you  know  Monsieur  Regimbart  ?  " 

"  What,  Monsieur !  do  I  know  him  ?  Tis  I  who 
have  the  honour  of  attending  on  him.  He's  upstairs 
— he  is  just  finishing  his  dinner !  " 

And,  with  a  napkin  under  his  arm,  the  master  of 
the  establishment  himself  accosted  him : 

"  You're  asking  for  Monsieur  Regimbart,  Monsieur  ? 
He  was  here  a  moment  ago." 

Frederick  gave  vent  to  an  oath,  but  the  proprietor 
of  the  dining-rooms  stated  that  he  would  certainly  find 
the  gentleman  at  Bouttevilain's. 

"  I  assure  you,  on  my  honour,  he  left  a  little  earlier 
than  usual,  for  he  had  a  business  appointment  with 
some  gentlemen.  But  you'll  find  him,  I  tell  you  again, 
at  Bouttevilain's,  Rue  Saint-Martin,  Number  Ninety- 
two,  the  second  row  of  steps  at  the  left  at  the  end  of 
the  courtyard — first  floor — door  to  the  right !  " 

At  last,  he  saw  Regimbart,  in  a  cloud  of  tobacco- 
smoke,  at  the  lower  end  of  the  refreshment-room. 


"  Ah !  I  have  been  a  long  time  trying  to  find  you !  " 

Without  rising,  Regimbart  extended  toward  him 
only  two  fingers,  and,  as  if  he  had  seen  Frederick  the 
day  before,  he  gave  utterance  to  a  number  of  common- 
place remarks  about  the  opening  of  the  session. 

Frederick  interrupted  him,  saying  in  the  least  con- 
cerned tone  he  could  assume : 

"  Is  Arnoux  going  on  well  ?  " 

The  reply  was  a  long  time  coming,  as  Regimbart 
was  gargling  the  liquor  in  his  throat : 

"  Yes,  not  badly." 

"  Where  is  he  living  now  ?  " 

"  Why,  in  the  Rue  Paradis  Poissonniere,"  the  Citi- 
zen returned  with  astonishment. 

"What  number?" 

'  Thirty-seven — confound  it !  what  an  odd  fellow 
you  are !  " 

Frederick  rose. 

"  What!  are  you  going?  " 

"  Yes,  yes !  I  have  to  make  a  call — some  business 
matter  I  had  forgotten  !  Good-bye !  " 

Frederick  covered  the  distance  from  the  smoking- 
divan  to  the  Arnoux's  residence,  as  if  carried  along  by 
a  tepid  wind,  with  the  sensation  of  extreme  ease  that 
people  experience  in  dreams. 

He  soon  found  himself  on  the  second  floor  in  fror.t 
of  a  door,  at  the  ringing  of  whose  bell  a  servant  ap- 
peared. A  second  door  was  flung  open.  Madame  Ar- 
noux was  seated  near  the  fire.  Arnoux  jumped  up, 
and  rushed  across  to  embrace  Frederick.  She  had  on 
her  lap  a  little  boy  not  quite  three  years  old.  Her 
daughter,  now  as  tall  as  herself,  was  standing  at  the 
opposite  side  of  the  mantelpiece. 

"  Allow  me  to  present  this  gentleman  to  you,"  said 
Arnoux,  taking  his  son  up  in  his  arms.  And  he 


amused  himself  for  some  minutes  by  throwing  the 
child  high  up  in  the  air,  and  then  catching  him  with 
both  hands  as  he  came  down. 

"  You'll  kill  him  ! — ah !  good  heavens,  have  done !  " 
exclaimed  Madame  Arnoux. 

But  Arnoux,  declaring  that  there  was  not  the  slight- 
est danger,  still  kept  tossing  up  the  child,  and  even 
addressed  him  in  words  of  endearment  such  as  nurses 
use  in  the  Marseillaise  dialect,  his  natal  tongue :  "  Ah ! 
my  fine  picheoun !  my  ducksy  of  a  little  nightingale !  " 

Then,  he  asked  Frederick  why  he  had  been  so  long 
without  writing  to  them,  what  he  had  been  doing  down 
in  the  country,  and  why  he  had  returned. 

"  As  for  me,  I  am  at  present,  my  dear  friend,  a 
dealer  in  faience.  But  let  us  talk  about  yourself !  " 

Frederick  gave  as  reasons  for  his  absence  a  pro- 
tracted lawsuit  and  the  condition  of  his  mother's 
health.  He  laid  special  stress  on  the  latter  subject  in 
order  to  make  himself  interesting.  He  ended  by  say- 
ing that  this  time  he  was  to  settle  in  Paris  for  good ; 
but  he  did  not  mention  the  inheritance,  lest  it  might  be 
prejudicial  to  his  past. 

Madame  Arnoux  wore  a  large  blue  merino  dressing- 
gown.  With  her  face  turned  toward  the  fire  and  one 
hand  on  the  shoulder  of  the  little  boy,  she  unfastened 
with  the  other  his  bodice.  The  youngster  in  his  shirt 
began  to  cry,  while  scratching  his  head,  like  the  son  of 
M.  Alexandre. 

Frederick  expected  to  experience  spasms  of  joy ;  but 
the  passions  grow  pale  when  we  find  ourselves  in  an 
altered  situation ;  and,  as  he  no  longer  saw  Madame 
Arnoux  in  the  environment  wherein  he  had  known  her, 
she  seemed  to  him  to  have  lost  some  of  her  fascination ; 
to  have  degenerated  in  some  way  that  he  could  not 
comprehend — in  fact,  not  to  be  the  same.  He  was  sur- 


prised  at  the  serenity  of  his  own  heart.  He  made  en- 
quiries about  some  old  friends,  Pellerin,  amongst 

"  I  don't  see  him  often,"  said  Arnoux.     She  added : 

"  We  no  longer  entertain  as  we  used  to  do  for- 
merly !  " 

Was  the  object  of  this  remark  to  let  him  know  that 
he  would  get  no  invitation  from  them?  But  Arnoux, 
continuing  to  exhibit  the  same  cordiality,  reproached 
him  for  not  having  come  to  dine  with  them  uninvited ; 
and  he  explained  the  reason  why  he  had  changed  his 

"  What  can  be  done  in  an  age  of  decadence  like 
ours  ?  Great  painting  is  gone  out  of  fashion !  Be- 
sides, we  may  import  art  into  everything.  You  know 
that,  for  my  part,  I  am  a  lover  of  the  beautiful.  I  must 
bring  you  one  of  these  days  to  see  my  earthenware 

And  he  wanted  to  show  Frederick  at  once  some  of 
his  productions  in  the  store  which  he  had  between  the 
ground-floor  and  the  first  floor.  Frederick,  who  was 
cold  and  hungry,  was  bortd  with  Arnoux's  display  of 
his  wares.  He  hurried  off  to  the  Cafe  Anglais,  where 
he  ordered  a  sumptuous  supper,  and  while  eating,  said 
to  himself: 

"  I  was  well  off  enough  below  there  with  all  my 
troubles !  She  scarcely  noticed  me !  How  like  a  shop- 
keeper's wife !  " 

And  in  an  abrupt  expansion  of  healthfulness,  he 
formed  egoistic  resolutions.  He  felt  his  heart  as  hard 
as  the  table  on  which  his  elbows  rested.  So  then  he 
could  this  time  plunge  fearlessly  into  the  vortex  of 
society.  The  thought  of  the  Dambreuses  recurred  to 
his  mind.  He  would  make  use  of  them.  Then  he  re- 
called Deslauriers.  "  Ah !  faith,  so  much  the  worse !  " 


Nevertheless,  he  sent  him  a  note  by  a  messenger,  mak- 
ing a  breakfast  appointment  with  him  for  the  follow- 
ing day. 

Fortune  had  not  been  so  kind  to  the  other. 

He  had  presented  himself  at  the  examination  for  a 
fellowship  with  a  thesis  on  the  law  of  wills,  in  which 
he  held  that  the  powers  of  testators  ought  tt  be  re- 
stricted as  much  as  possible;  and,  as  his  adversary 
provoked  him  in  such  a  way  as  to  cause  him  to  say 
foolish  things,  he  gave  utterance  to  many  of  these  ab- 
surdities without  in  any  way  inducing  the  examiners 
to  falter  in  deciding  that  he  was  wrong.  Then  fate  so 
willed  it  that  he  should  choose  by  lot,  as  a  subject  for 
a  lecture,  Prescription.  Thereupon,  Deslauriers  gave 
vent  to  some  lamentable  theories :  the  questions  in  dis- 
pute in  former  times  ought  to  be  brought  forward  as 
well  as  those  which  had  recently  arisen ;  why  should 
the  proprietor  be  deprived  of  his  estate  because  he 
could  furnish  his  title-deeds  only  after  the  lapse  of 
thirty-one  years  ?  This  was  giving  the  security  of  the 
honest  man-  to  the  inheritor  of  the  enriched  thief. 
Every  injustice  was  consecrated  by  extending  this  law, 
which  was  a  form  of  tyranny,  the  abuse  of  force !  He 
had  even  exclaimed :  "  Abolish  it ;  and  the  Franks  will 
no  longer  oppress  the  Gauls,  the  English  oppress  the 
Irish,  the  Yankee  oppress  the  Redskins,  the  Turks  op- 
press the  Arabs,  the  whites  oppress  the  blacks,  Po- 
land  " 

The  President  interrupted  him :  "  Well !  well ! 
Monsieur,  we  have  no  interest  in  your  political 
opinions — you  will  have  them  represented  in  your  be- 
half by-and-by!  " 

Deslauriers  did  not  desire  to  have  his  opinions  rep- 
resented ;  but  this  unfortunate  Title  XX.  of  the  Third 
Book  of  the  Civil  Code  had  become  a  sort  of  moun- 


tain  over  which  he  stumbled.  He  was  elaborating  a 
great  work  on  "  Prescription  considered  as  'the  Basis 
of  the  Civil  Law  and  of  the  Law  of  Nature  amongst 
Peopies  " ;  and  he  got  lost  in  Dunod,  Rogerius,  Balbus, 
Merlin,  Vazeille,  Savigny,  Traplong,  and  other  weighty 
authorities  on  the  subject.  In  order  to  have  more  time 
for  devoting  himself  to  this  task,  he  had  resigned  his 
post  of  head-clerk.  He  lived  by  giving  private  tui- 
tions and  preparing  theses. 

He  came  to  keep  the  appointment  in  a  big  paletot, 
lined  with  red  flannel,  like  the  one  Senecal  used  to  wear 
in  former  days. 

Only  respect  for  the  passers-by  prevented  them  from 
straining  one  another  in  an  embrace  of  friendship ;  and 
they  made  their  way  to  Vefour's  arm-in-arm,  laughing 
happily,  though  with  tear-drops  lingering  in  the  depths 
of  their  eyes.  Then,  as  soon  as  they  were  free  from 
observation,  Deslauriers  exclaimed : 

"  Ah !  damn  it !  we'll  have  a  jolly  time  now !  " 

Frederick  was  not  quite  pleased  to  find  Deslauriers 
all  at  once  associating  himself  in  this  way  with  his 
own  newly-acquired  inheritance.  His  friend  mani- 
fested too  much  pleasure  on  account  of  them  both,  and 
not  enough  on  his  account  alone. 

After  this,  Deslauriers  gave  details  about  the  re- 
verses he  had  met  with,  and  gradually  told  Frederick 
all  about  his  occupations  and  his  daily  existence,  speak- 
ing of  himself  in  a  stoical  fashion,  and  of  others  in 
tones  of  intense  bitterness.  He  found  fault  with  every- 
thing ;  every  man  in  office  was  an  idiot  or  a  rascal.  He 
flew  into  a  passion  against  the  waiter  because  a  glass 
was  badly  rinsed,  and  when  Frederick  uttered  a  re- 
proach with  a  view  to  mitigating  his  wrath :  "  As  if  I 
were  going  to  annoy  myself  with  such  numbskulls,  who, 
you  must  know,  can  earn  as  much  as  six  and  even 


eight  thousand  francs  a  year,  who  are  electors,  perhaps 
eligible  as  candidates.  Ah  !  no,  no!  " 

Then,  with  a  sprightly  air,  "  But  I've  forgotten  that 
I'm  talking  to  a  capitalist,  to  a  Mondor,*  for  you  are 
a  Mondor  now  !  " 

And,  returning  to  the  question  of  the  inheritance,  he 
gave  expression  to  this  view — that  collateral  successor- 
ship  (a  thing  unjust  in  itself,  though  in  the  present 
case  he  was  glad  it  was  possible)  would  be  abolished 
one  of  these  days  during  the  approaching  revolution. 

"Do  you  believe  in  that?"  said  Frederick. 

"  I  am  sure  of  it !  "  he  replied.  "  This  sort  of  thing 
cannot  last.  There  is  too  much  suffering.  When  I  see 
into  the  wretchedness  of  men  like  Senecal '' 

"  Always  Senecal !  "  thought  Frederick. 

"  But  at  all  events,  tell  me  the  news  ?  Are  you  still 
in  love  with  Madame  Arnoux  ?  Or  is  it  all  over — eh  ?  " 

Frederick,  not  knowing  what  to  answer,  closed  his 
eyes  and  hung  down  his  head. 

With  regard  to  Arnoux,  Deslauriers  told  him  that 
the  journal  was  now  the  property  of  Hussonnet,  who 
had  transformed  it.  It  was  called  "  L 'Art,  a  literary 
institution — a  company  with  shares  of  one  hundred 
francs  each ;  capital  of  the  firm,  forty  thousand  francs," 
each  shareholder  having  the  privilege  of  putting  into 
it  his  own  contributions ;  for  "  the  company  has  for  its 
object  to  publish  the  works  of  beginners,  to  spare 
talent,  perchance  genius,  the  sad  crises  which  drench," 

"  You  see  the  trick !  "  There  was,  however,  some- 
thing to  be  effected  by  the  change — the  tone  of  the 
journal  could  be  elevated ;  then,  without  any  delay, 
while  retaining  the  same  writers,  and  promising  a  con- 

*A  notorious  Italian  charlatan,  who,  in  the  seventeenth  cent- 
ury, settled  in  Paris  and  made  a  large  fortune. 


tinuation  of  the  feuilleton,  to  supply  the  subscribers 
with  a  political  organ :  the  amount  to  be  advanced 
would  not  be  very  great. 

"  What  do  you  think  of  it  ?  Come !  would  you  like 
to  have  an  interest  in  it  ?  " 

Frederick  did  not  reject  the  proposal ;  but  he  pointed 
out  that  it  was  necessary  for  him  to  attend  to  the  reg- 
ulation of  his  affairs. 

"  After  that,  if  you  require  anything — 

"  Thanks,  my  boy !  "  said  Deslauriers. 

Then  they  smoked  puros,  leaning  with  their  elbows 
on  the  shelf  covered  with  velvet  beside  the  window. 
Deslauriers,  with  half-closed  eyes,  was  staring  vacantly 
into  the  distance.  His  breast  heaved,  and  he  broke  out : 

"  Ah !  those  were  better  days  when  Camille  Des- 
moulins,  standing  below  there  on  a  table,  drove  the 
people  on  to  the  Bastille.  Men  really  lived  in  those 
times ;  they  could  assert  themselves,  and  prove  their 
power!  Simple  advocates  commanded  generals. 
Kings  were  beaten  by  beggars ;  whilst  now " 

He  stopped,  then  added  all  of  a  sudden : 

"  Pooh !  the  future  is  big  with  great  things !  " 

And,  drumming  a  battle-march  on  the  window- 
panes,  he  declaimed  some  verses  of  Barthelemy,  which 
ran  thus : 

"  'That  dread  Assembly  shall  again  appear, 
Which,  after  forty  years,  fills  you  with  fear 
Marching  with  giant  stride  and  dauntless  soul,' 

— I  don't  know  any  more  of  it !  But  'tis  late ;  suppose 
we  go  ?  " 

And  he  continued  setting  forth  his  theories  in  the 

Frederick,  without  heeding  him,  was  looking  at  cer- 
tain materials  and  articles  of  furniture  in  the  shop-win- 
dows which  would  be  suitable  for  his  new  residence  in 


Paris;  and  it  was,  perhaps,  the  thought  of  Madame 
Arnoux  that  made  him  stop  before  a  second-hand  deal- 
er's window,  where  three  plates  made  of  fine  ware  were 
exposed  to  view.  They  were  decorated  with  yellow 
arabesques  with  metallic  reflections,  and  were  worth  a 
hundred  crowns  apiece.  He  ordered  them  put  aside 
for  him. 

"  For  my  part,  if  I  were  in  your  place,"  said  Des- 
lauriers,  "  I  would  rather  buy  silver  plate,"  revealing 
by  this  love  of  substantial  things  the  man  of  mean  ex- 

As  soon  as  he  was  alone,  Frederick  went  to  the  es- 
tablishment of  the  celebrated  Pomadere,  where  he  or- 
dered three  pairs  of  trousers,  two  coats,  a  p'elisse 
trimmed  with  fur,  and  five  waistcoats.  Then  he  visited 
a  bootmaker's,  shirtmaker's,  and  hatter's,  giving  them 
directions  in  each  shop  to  be  as  speedy  as  possible. 
Three  days  later,  on  the  evening  of  his  return  from 
Havre,  he  found  his  complete  wardrobe  awaiting  him 
in  his  Parisian  abode ;  and  impatient  to  make  use  of  it, 
he  resolved  to  pay  an  immediate  visit  to  the  Dam- 
breuses.  But  it  was  too  early  yet — scarcely  eight 

"  Suppose  I  go  to  see  the  others  ?  "  said  he  to  him- 

He  found  Arnoux,  all  alone,  in  the  act  of  shaving  in 
front  of  his  glass.  The  latter  proposed  to  drive  him 
to  a  place  where  they  could  amuse  themselves,  and 
when  M.  Dambreuse  was  mentioned,  "  Ah,  that's  just 
lucky!  You'll  see  some  of  his  friends  there.  Come 
on  !  It  will  be  good  fun  !  " 

Frederick  asked  to  be  excused.  Madame  Arnoux 
recognised  his  voice,  and  wished  him  good-day, 
through  the  partition,  for  her  daughter  was  indisposed, 
and  she  was  not  feeling  well  herself.  The  noise  of  a 


soup-ladle  against  a  glass  could  be  heard  from  within, 
and  all  those  sounds  made  by  things  being  lightly 
moved  about,  which  are  usual  in  a  sick-room.  Then 
Arnoux  left  his  dressing-room  to  say  good-bye  to  his 
wife.  He  brought  forward  many  reasons  for  going 

"  You  know  well  that  it  is  a  serious  matter !  I  really 
must  go  there ;  'tis  a  case  of  necessity.  They'll  be 
waiting  for  me  !  " 

"  Go,  go,  my  dear !    Amuse  yourself !  " 

Arnoux  hailed  a  hackney-coach  : 

"  Palais  Royal.  Number  Seven  Montpensier  Gal- 

And,  as  he  let  himself  sink  back  in  the  cushions : 

"  Ah !  how  tired  I  am,  my  dear  fellow !  It  will  be 
the  death  of  me !  However,  I  can  tell  it  to  you — to 
you !  " 

He  whispered  in  Frederick's  ear  in  a  mysterious 
fashion : 

"  I  am  trying  to  re-discover  the  red  of  Chinese  cop- 

And  he  explained  the  nature  of  the  glaze  and  the 
little  fire. 

On  their  arrival  at  Chevet's  shop,  a  large  hamper 
was  brought  to  him,  which  he  stowed  away  in  the 
hackney-coach.  Then  he  ordered  for  his  "  poor  wife  " 
pine-apples  and  various  dainties,  and  directed  that  they 
should  be  sent  early  next  morning. 

After  this,  they  called  at  a  costumer's  establishment ; 
it  was  to  a  ball  they  were  going. 

Arnoux  selected  blue  velvet  breeches,  a  vest  of  the 
same  material,  and  a  red  wig;  Frederick  a  domino, 
after  which  they  went  down  the  Rue  de  Laval  toward 
a  house  the  second  floor  of  which  was  illuminated  by 
coloured  lanterns. 


At  the  foot  of  the  stairs  they  heard  the  sound  of  vio- 
lins from  above. 

"Where  the  deuce  are  you  bringing  me  to?"  said 

"  To  see  a  pretty  girl !  don't  be  afraid !  " 

The  door  was  opened  for  them  by  a  groom;  and 
they  entered  the  anteroom,  where  paletots,  mantles, 
and  shawls  were  thrown  together  in  a  heap  on  some 
chairs.  A  young  woman  in  the  costume  of  a  dragoon 
in  the  reign  of  Louis  XIV  was  passing  at  that  moment. 
It  was  Mademoiselle  Rosanette  Bron,  the  mistress  of 
the  place. 

"Well?"  said  Arnoux. 

'"Tis  done!  "  she  replied. 

"  Ah !  thanks,  my  angel !  " 

And  he  tried  to  kiss  her. 

"  Take  care,  now,  you  foolish  man !  You'll  spoil  the 
paint  on  my  face !  " 

Arnoux  introduced  Frederick. 

"  Step  in  there,  Monsieur ;  you  are  very  welcome !  " 

She  drew  aside  a  door-curtain,  and  cried  out  with 
a  certain  emphasis : 

"  Here's  my  lord  Arnoux,  girls,  and  a  princely  friend 
of  his !  " 

Frederick  was  at  first  dazzled  by  the  lights.  He 
could  distinguish  nothing  save  some  silk  and  velvet 
dresses,  naked  shoulders,  a  mass  of  colours  swaying  to 
and  fro  to  the  accompaniment  of  an  orchestra  hidden 
behind  green  foliage,  between  walls  hung  with  yellow 
silk,  with  pastel  portraits  here  and  there  and  crystal 
chandeliers  in  Louis  XVI  style. 

The  dancing  stopped,  and  there  were  bursts  of  ap- 
plause, a  general  hubbub  of  delight,  as  Arnoux  ad- 
vanced with  his  hamper  on  his  head ;  the  eatables  con- 
tained in  it  made  a  lump  in  the  centre. 


"  Make  way  for  the  lustre !  " 

Frederick  raised  his  eyes :  it  was  the  lustre  of  old 
Saxe  that  had  adorned  the  shop  attached  to  the  office 
of  L'Art  Indnstricl.  The  memory  of  former  days  came 
back  to  his  mind.  But  a  foot-soldier  of  the  line  in  un- 
dress, with  that  silly  expression  of  countenance 
ascribed  by  tradition  to  conscripts,  planted  himself 
right  in  front  of  him.  Frederick  recognised  his  old 
friend  Hussonnet.  In  a  half-Alsatian,  half-negro  kind 
of  gibberish,  the  Bohemian  loaded  him  with  congratu- 
lations, addressing  him  as  "  colonel."  Frederick,  em- 
barrassed by  the  crowd  of  personages  assembled 
around  him,  was  at  a  loss  for  an  answer.  At  a  tap 
on  the  desk  from  a  fiddlestick,  the  partners  in  the 
dance  fell  into  place. 

They  numbered  about  sixty,  the  women  being  for 
the  most  part  dressed  either  as  village-girls  or  march- 
ionesses, and  the  men,  who  were  nearly  all  of  mature 
age,  appeared  as  waggoners,  'longshoremen,  or  sailors. 

Frederick  having  placed  himself  close  to  the  wall, 
stared  at  those  who  were  going  through  the  quadrille. 

An  old  beau,  dressed  like  a  Venetian  Doge  in  a 
long  gown  of  purple  silk,  was  dancing  with  Mademoi- 
selle Rosanette,  who  wore  a  green  coat,  laced  breeches, 
and  boots  of  soft  leather  with  gold  spurs.  In  front  of 
them  were  an  Albanian  laden  with  yataghans  and  a 
Swiss  girl  with  blue  eyes  and  skin  white  as  milk,  who 
looked  as  plump  as  a  quail  with  her  chemise-sleeves 
and  red  corset  exposed  to  view.  In  order  to  display 
her  hair,  which  fell  down  to  her  hips,  a  tall  blonde,  a 
walking  lady  in  the  opera,  had  assumed  the  part  of  a 
female  savage;  and  over  her  brown  swaddling-cloth 
she  wore  nothing  save  leathern  breeches,  glass  brace- 
lets, and  a  tinsel  diadem,  from  which  rose  a  large  sheaf 
of  peacock's  feathers.  In  front  of  her,  a  gentleman 


intended  to  represent  Pritchard,  muffled  up  in  a  gro- 
tesquely big  black  coat,  was  beating  time  with  his  el- 
bow on  his  snuff-box.  A  little  Watteau  shepherd  in 
blue-and-silver,  like  moonlight,  dashed  his  crook 
against  the  thyrsus  of  a  Bacchante  crowned  with 
grapes,  who  wore  a  leopard's  skin  over  her  left  side, 
and  buskins  with  gold  ribbons.  On  the  other  side,  a 
Polish  lady,  in  a  spencer  of  nacarat-coloured  velvet, 
wore  a  gauze  petticoat,  which  fluttered  over  her  pearl- 
grey  stockings  and  fashionable  pink  boots  bordered 
with  white  fur.  She  was  smiling  on  a  big-paunched 
man  of  forty,  robed  as  a  choir-boy,  who  was  skipping 
very  high,  raising  his  surplice  with  one  hand,  and  with 
the  other  his  red  clerical  cap.  But  the  queen,  the  star, 
was  Mademoiselle  Loulou,  a  celebrated  dancer  at  pub- 
lic halls.  As  she  had  lately  become  wealthy,  she  wore 
a  large  lace  collar  over  her  vest  of  smooth  black  vel- 
vet; and  her  gay  trousers  of  poppy-coloured  silk, 
clinging  closely  to  her  figure,  and  drawn  tight  round 
her  waist  by  a  cashmere  scarf,  had  all  over  their  seams 
little  natural  white  camellias.  Her  pale  face,  a  little 
puffed,  and  with  the  nose  somewhat  retrousse,  looked 
all  the  more  pert  from  the  disordered  appearance  of 
her  wig,  over  which  she  had  clapped  a  man's  grey  felt 
hat,  so  that  it  covered  her  right  ear ;  and,  with  every 
kick  she  gave,  her  pumps,  adorned  with  diamond 
buckles,  nearly  reached  the  nose  of  her  neighbour,  a 
big  mediaeval  baron,  who  was  continually  getting  en- 
tangled in  his  steel  armour.  There  was  also  an  angel, 
with  a  gold  sword  in  her  hand,  and  two  swan's  wings 
over  her  back,  who  kept  running  up  and  down,  every 
minute  losing  her  partner,  who  appeared  as  Louis  XIV, 
and  who  was  in  utter  ignorance  of  the  figures  and  con- 
fused the  quadrille. 

Frederick,  as  he  gazed  at  these  people,  experienced 


a  sense  of  forlornness,  a  feeling  of  uneasiness.  He  was 
still  thinking  of  Madame  Arnoux,  and  it  seemed  to  him 
as  if  he  were  furthering  some  plot  that  was  being 
hatched  against  her. 

When  the  quadrille  was  over,  Mademoiselle  Rosa- 
nette  accosted  him.  She  was  slightly  out  of  breath, 
and  her  gorget,  polished  like  a  mirror,  swelled  up 
softly  under  her  chin. 

"  And  you,  Monsieur,"  said  she,  "  don't  you  dance  ?  " 

Frederick  excused  himself;  he  did  not  know  how 
to  dance. 

"Really!  but  with  me?  Are  you  quite  sure?" 
And,  poising  herself  on  one  hip,  with  her  other  knee 
a  little  drawn  back,  while  she  stroked  with  her  left  hand 
the  mother-of-pearl  pommel  of  her  sword,  she  kept 
looking  up  at  him  for  a  minute  with  a  half-beseeching, 
half-teasing  air.  At  last  she  said  "  Good-night,  then !  " 
made  a  pirouette,  and  disappeared. 

Frederick,  dissatisfied  with  himself,  and  not  well 
knowing  what  to  do,  wandered  through  the  rooms. 

He  entered  the  boudoir  padded  with  pale  blue  silk, 
with  bouquets  of  flowers  from  the  fields,  whilst  on 
the  ceiling,  in  a  circle  of  gilt  wood,  Cupids,  emerging 
out  of  an  azure  sky,  played  over  the  clouds.  This  dis- 
play of  luxuries,  which  would  now-a-days  be  only 
trifles  to  persons  like  Rosanette,  dazzled  him,  and  he 
admired  everything — the  artificial  convolvuli  decorat- 
ing the  surface  of  the  mirror,  the  curtains  on  the  man- 
telpiece, the  Turkish  divan,  and  a  sort  of  tent  in  a 
recess  in  the  wall,  with  pink  silk  hangings  and  a  cov- 
ering of  white  muslin.  Furniture  made  of  dark  wood 
with  inlaid  work  of  copper  filled  the  sleeping  apart- 
ment, where,  on  a  platform  covered  with  swan's-down, 
stood  a  large  canopied  bedstead  trimmed  with  ostrich- 


Here  were  surroundings  specially  calculated  to  fas- 
cinate him.  In  a  sudden  revolt  of  his  youthful  blood 
he  swore  that  he  would  enjoy  such  things;  he  grew 
bold ;  then,  coming  back  to  the  place  opening  into  the 
drawing-room,  where  there  was  now  a  larger  gathering 
— it  kept  moving  about  in  a  kind  of  luminous  pulveru- 
lence — he  stood  to  watch  the  quadrilles,  blinking  his 
eyes  to  see  better,  and  inhaling*  the  soft  perfumes  of 
the  women,  which  floated  through  the  atmosphere  like 
an  all-pervading  kiss. 

But,  close  to  him,  on  the  other  side  of  the  door,  was 
Pellerin — Pellerin,  in  full  dress,  his  left  hand  over 
his  breast,  his  hat  and  a  torn  white  glove  in  his  right. 

"  Halloa !  'Tis  a  long  time  since  we  saw  you ! 
Where  the  deuce  have  you  been  ?  Travelling  in  Italy  ? 
'Tis  a  commonplace  country  enough — Italy,  eh?  not 
so  unique  as  people  say  it  is?  No  matter!  Will  you 
bring  me  your  sketches  one  of  these  days  ?  " 

And,  without  allowing  him  time  to  answer,  the  artist 
began  talking  about  himself.  He  had  made  consider- 
able progress,  having  definitely  satisfied  himself  as  to 
the  stupidity  of  studying  the  line.  We  ought  not  to 
look  so  much  for  beauty  and  unity  in  a  work  as  for 
character  and  diversity  of  subject. 

"  For  everything  exists  in  nature ;  therefore,  every- 
thing is  legitimate ;  everything  is  plastic.  It  is  only  a 
question  of  catching  the  mood,  mind  you !  I  have  dis- 
covered the  secret,"  and  giving  him  a  nudge,  he  re- 
peated several  times,  "  I  have  discovered  the  secret, 
you  see !  Just  look  at  that  little  woman  with  the  head- 
dress of  a  sphinx  who  is  dancing  with  a  Russian  pos- 
tilion— that's  neat,  dry,  fixed,  all  in  flats  and  in  stiff 
tones — indigo  under  the  eyes,  a  patch  of  vermilion  on 
the  cheek,  and  bistre  on  the  temples — pif !  paf !  "  And 
with  his  thumb  he  drew,  as  it  were,  pencil-strokes  in 


the  air.  "  Whilst  the  big  one  over  there,"  he  continued, 
pointing  toward  a  fishwife  in  a  cherry  gown  with  a 
gold  cross  hanging  from  her  neck,  and  a  lawn  fichu 
fastened  round  her  shoulders,  "  is  nothing  but  curves. 
The  nostrils  are  spread  out  just  like  the  borders  of  her 
cap ;  the  corners  of  the  mouth  are  rising  up ;  the  chin 
sinks :  all  is  fleshy,  melting,  abundant,  tranquil,  and 
sunshiny — a  true  Rubens !  Nevertheless,  both  are  per- 
fect !  Where,  then,  is  the  type  ?  "  He  grew  warm  with 
the  subject  "What  is  this  but  a  beautiful  woman? 
What  is  it  but  the  beautiful  ?  Ah !  the  beautiful— tell 
me  what  that  is — 

Frederick  interrupted  him  to  inquire  who  was  the 
merry-andrew  with  the  face  of  a  he-goat,  who  was  in 
the  act  of  blessing  all  the  dancers  in  the  middle  of  a 

"  Oh !  he's  not  anybody ! — a  widower,  the  father  of 
three  boys.  He  leaves  them  without  breeches,  spends 
all  his  time  at  the  club,  and  lives  with  the  servant !  " 

"  And  who  is  that  dressed  like  a  bailiff  talking  in  the 
recess  of  the  window  to  a  Marquise  de  Pompadour  ?  " 

"  The  Marquise  is  Mademoiselle  Vandael,  at  one 
time  an  actress  at  the  Gymnase,  the  mistress  of  the 
Doge,  the  Comte  de  Palazot.  They  have  now  been 
twenty  years  living  together — nobody  can  tell  why. 
Had  she  fine  eyes  at  one  time,  that  woman?  As  for 
the  citizen  beside  her,  his  name  is  Captain  d'Herbigny, 
an  old  man  of  the  hurdy-gurdy  sort  that  you  can  play 
on,  with  nothing  in  the  world  except,  his  Cross  of  the 
Legion  of  Honour  and  his  pension.  He  passes  for  the 
uncle  of  the  grisettes  at  festival  times,  arranges  duels, 
and  dines  in  the  city." 

"  A  rascal  ?  "  said  Frederick. 

"  No !  an  honest  man !  " 



The  artist  was  about  to  mention  the  names  of  others, 
when,  perceiving  a  gentleman  who,  like  Moliere's  phy- 
sician, wore  a  big  black  serge  gown  opening  very  wide 
as  it  descended  in  order  to  display  all  his  trinkets: 

"  The  person  there  is  Doctor  Des  Rogis,  who,  full 
of  bitterness  at  not  having  become  famous,  has  written 
a  book  of  medical  pornography,  and  willingly  blacks 
people's  boots  in  society,  while  he  is  at  the  same  time 
discreet.  These  ladies  adore  him.  He  and  his  wife 
(that  lean  chatelaine  in  the  grey  dress)  are  seen  to- 
gether at  every  public  place — aye,  and  at  other  places 
too.  In  spite  of  domestic  embarrassments,  they  have 
a  da\ — artistic  teas,  at  which  verses  are  recited.  Atten- 
tion !" 

Between  two  quadrilles,  Rosanette  went  toward  the 
mantelpiece,  where  an  obese  little  old  man,  in  a  ma- 
roon coat  with  gold  buttons,  was  seated  in  an  arm- 
chair. In  spite  of  his  withered  cheeks,  which  hung 
over  his  white  cravat,  his  hair,  still  fair,  and  curling 
naturally  like  that  of  a  poodle,  gave  him  a  frivolous 

She  was  listening  to  him  with  her  face  bent  close  to 
his.  Presently,  she  handed  him  a  little  glass  of  syrup ; 
and  nothing  could  be  more  dainty  than  her  hands  under 
their  laced  sleeves,  which  passed  over  the  facings  of 
her  green  coat.  When  the  old  man  had  swallowed  it, 
he  kissed  them. 

"  Why,  that's  Monsieur  Oudry,  a  neighbour  of  Ar- 
noux !  " 

"  He  has  lost  her !  "  said  Pellerin,  smiling. 

A  Longjumeau  postilion  caught  her  by  the  waist.  A 
waltz  was  beginning.  Then  all  the  women,  seated 
round  the  drawing-room  on  benches,  rose  up  quickly ; 
and  their  petticoats,  their  scarfs,  and  their  head-dresses 
went  whirling  round. 


They  whirled  so  close  to  him  that  Frederick  could 
see  the  beads  of  perspiration  on  their  foreheads ;  and 
this  gyral  movement,  more  and  more  lively,  regular, 
provocative  of  dizzy  sensations,  communicated  to  his 
mind  a  sort  of  intoxication,  which  made  other  images 
surge  up  within  it,  while  each  woman  passed  with  the 
same  dazzling  effect,  and  with  a  special  kind  of  excit- 
ing influence,  according  to  her  style  of  beauty. 

The  Polish  lady,  surrendering  herself  in  a  languor- 
ous fashion,  inspired  him  with  a  longing  to  clasp  her 
to  his  heart  while  they  were  both  spinning  forward 
on  a  sledge  along  a  plain  covered  with  snow.  Hori- 
zons of  tranquil  voluptuousness  in  a  chalet  at  the  side 
of  a  lake  opened  out  under  the  footsteps  of  the  Swiss 
girl,  who  waltzed  with  her  bust  erect  and  her  eye- 
lashes drooping.  Then,  suddenly,  the  Bacchante, 
bending  back  her  head  with  its  dark  locks,  made  him 
dream  of  devouring  caresses  in  a  wood  of  oleanders, 
in  the  midst  of  a  storm,  to  the  confused  accompani- 
ment of  tabours.  The  fishwife,  who  was  panting 
from  the  rapidity  of  the  music,  which  was  far  too 
great  for  her,  gave  vent  to  bursts  of  laughter ;  and  he 
would  have  liked,  while  drinking  with  her  in  some 
tavern  in  the  "  Porcherons,"  to  rumple  her  fichu 
with  both  hands,  as  in  the  good  old  times.  But  the 
'longshorewoman,  whose  light  toes  barely  skimmed 
the  floor,  seemed  to  conceal  under  the  suppleness  of 
her  limbs  and  the  seriousness  of  her  face  all  the  re- 
finements of  modern  love,  which  possesses  the  ex- 
actitude of  a  science  and  the  mobility  of  a  bird. 
Rosanette  was  whirling  with  arms  akimbo;  her  wig, 
in  an  awkward  position,  bobbed  over  her  collar,  and 
flung  iris-powder  around  her ;  and,  at  every  turn,  she 
was  near  catching  hold  of  Frederick  by  the  ends  of 
her  gold  spurs. 


During  the  closing  bar  of  the  waltz,  Mademoiselle 
Yatnaz  made  her  appearance. 

Behind  her  came  a  tall  fellow  in  the  classical  cos- 
tume of  Dante,  who  happened  to  be — she  now  made  no 
concealment  of  it — the  ex-singer  of  the  Alhambra,  and 
who,  though  his  name  was  Auguste  Delamare,  had  first 
called  himself  Antenor  Delamarre,  then  Delmas,  then 
Belmar,  and  at  last  Delmar,  thus  modifying  and  per- 
fecting his  name,  as  his  celebrity  increased,  for  he  had 
forsaken  the  public-house  concert  for  the  theatre,  and 
had  just  made  his  debut  in  a  noisy  fashion  at  the  Am- 
bigu  in  Gaspardo  Ic  Pccheur. 

Hussonnet,  on  noticing  him,  knitted  his  brows. 
Since  his  play  had  been  rejected,  he  hated  actors.  It 
was  impossible  to  conceive  the  vanity  of  individuals  of 
this  sort,  and  above  all  of  this  fellow.  "  What  a  prig ! 
Just  look  at  him !  " 

After  a  slight  bow  toward  Rosanette,  Delmar  leaned 
against  the  mantelpiece ;  and  there  he  remained,  mo- 
tionless, with  one  hand  over  his  heart,  his  left  foot 
thrust  forward,  his  eyes  raised  toward  heaven,  with 
his  wreath  of  gilt  laurels  above  his  cowl,  while  he 
strove  to  put  a  poetical  expression  on  his  face  in  order 
to  fascinate  the  ladies.  They  made,  at  some  distance, 
a  circle  around  him. 

The  Yatnaz,  having  given  Rosanette  a  prolonged 
embrace,  came  to  beg  of  Hussonnet  to  revise,  with  a 
view  to  the  improvement  of  the  style,  an  educational 
work  which  she  intended  to  publish,  under  the  title 
of  The  Young  Ladies'  Garland,  a  collection  of  lit- 
erary and  moral  philosophy. 

The  man  of  letters  agreed  to  assist  her  in  the  prepa- 
ration of  the  work.  Then  she  asked  him  whether  he 
could  not  in  one  of  the  publications  to  which  he  had 
access  give  her  friend  a  slight  puff,  and  even  assign 


to  him  some  employment.  Hussonnet  in  his  interest 
had  forgotten  to  take  a  glass  of  punch. 

It  was  Arnoux  who  had  brewed  the  beverage ;  and, 
followed  by  the  Comte's  groom  carrying  an  empty  tray, 
he  offered  it  to  the  ladies  with  a  self-satisfied  air. 

When  he  was  passing  in  front  of  M.  Oudry,  Rosa- 
nette  stopped  him. 

"Well — and  this  little  business?" 

He  coloured  slightly;  finally,  addressing  the  old 
man : 

"  Our  fair  friend  tells  me  that  you  would  have  the 
kindness — 

"  What  of  that,  neighbour  ?  I  am  quite  at  your  ser- 
vice !  " 

And  M.  Dambreuse's  name  was  pronounced.  As 
they  were  talking  in  low  tones,  Frederick  could 
only  hear  indistinctly ;  and  he  made  his  way  to  the 
other  side  of  the  mantelpiece,  where  Rosanette  and 
Delmar  were  chatting. 

The  mummer  had  a  vulgar  countenance,  made,  like 
the  scenery  of  the  stage,  to  be  viewed  from  a  distance 
— coarse  hands,  big  feet,  and  a  heavy  jaw;  and  he 
spoke  slightingly  of  the  most  distinguished  actors,  and 
of  poets  with  patronising  contempt,  making  use  of  the 
expressions  "  my  organ,"  "  my  physique,"  "  my  pow- 
ers," enamelling  his  conversation  with  words  that  were 
scarcely  intelligible  even  to  himself,  and  for  which  he 
had  quite  an  affection,  such  as  "  morbidezza"  "ana- 
logue," and  "  homogeneity." 

Rosanette  listened  to  him  with  little  nods  of  ap- 
proval. One  could  see  her  enthusiasm  burning  under 
the  paint  on  her  cheeks,  and  a  touch  of  moisture  ap- 
peared like  a  veil  over  her  bright  eyes  of  an  indefinable 
colour.  How  could  such  a  man  as  this  fascinate  her? 
Frederick  internally  excited  himself  to  still  greater  con- 


tempt  for  him,  in  order  to  banish,  perhaps,  a  species 
of  envy  which  he  felt  with  regard  to  him. 

Mademoiselle  Vatnaz  was  now  with  Arnoux,  and, 
while  laughing  from  time  to  time  very  loudly,  she  cast 
glances  toward  Rosanette,  whom  Monsieur  Oudry  kept 
in  sight. 

Then  Arnoux  and  the  Vatnaz  disappeared.  The  old 
man  began  talking  in  a  subdued  voice  to  Rosanette. 

"  Well,  yes,  'tis  settled  then !    Leave  me  alone  !  " 

And  she  asked  Frederick  to  give  a  glance  into  the 
kitchen  to  see  whether  Arnoux  happened  to  be  there. 

A  battalion  of  half-full  glasses  covered  the  floor; 
and  the  saucepans,  the  pots,  the  turbot-kettle,  and  the 
frying-stove  were  all  in  a  state  of  confusion.  Arnoux 
was  giving  directions  to  the  servants,  whom  he 
"  thee'd  "  and  "  thou'd,"  beating  up  the  mustard,  tast- 
ing the  sauces,  and  flirting  with  the  housemaid. 

"  All  right,"  he  said ;  "  tell  them  'tis  ready !  I'm 
going  to  have  it  served  up." 

The  dancing  had  ceased.  The  women  sat  down; 
the  men  were  walking  about. 

Where  could  Rosanette  be?  Frederick  went  on 
further  to  find  her,  even  into  her  boudoir  and  her  bed- 
room. Some,  in  order  to  be  alone,  or  in  pairs,  had 
retreated  into  the  corners.  Whisperings  intermingled 
with  the  shade.  There  were  little  laughs  stifled  under 
handkerchiefs,  and  at  the  sides  of  women's  corsages 
one  could  catch  glimpses  of  fans  quivering  with  slow, 
gentle  movements,  like  the  beating  of  a  wounded  bird's 

As  he  entered  the  conservatory,  he  saw  under  the 
large  leaves  of  a  caladium  near  the  fountain,  Delmar 
lying  at  length  on  the  linen-covered  sofa.  Rosanette, 
seated  beside  him,  was  passing  her  fingers  through  his 
hair ;  and  they  were  gazing  into  each  other's  faces.  At 


the  same  moment,  Arnotix  came  in  at  the  opposite  side 
— that  which  was  near  the  aviary.  Delmar  sprang  to 
his  feet ;  then  he  went  out  at  a  rapid  pace,  without 
turning  round ;  but  he  paused  close  to  the  door  to 
gather  a  hibiscus  flower,  with  which  he  adorned  his 
button-hole.  Rosanette  hung  her  head  ;  Frederick,  who 
caught  sight  of  her  profile,  saw  that  she  was  in  tears. 

"  I  say !  What's  the  matter  with  you  ?  "  exclaimed 

She  shrugged  her  shoulders  without  replying. 

"  Is  it  on  his  account  ?  "  he  went  on. 

She  threw  her  arms  round  his  neck,  and  kissing  him 
on  the  forehead,  slowly : 

"  You  should  know  that  I  will  always  love  you,  my 
big  fellow !  Think  no  more  about  it !  Let  us  go  to 
supper !  " 

A  copper  chandelier  with  forty  wax  tapers  lighted 
up  the  dining-room,  the  walls  of  which  were  hidden 
from  view  under  some  fine  old  earthenware  that  was 
hung  up  there.  With  a  rustle  of  garments,  the  women 
took  their  seats  beside  one  another ;  the  men,  standing 
up,  posted  themselves  at  the  corners.  Pellerin  and 
M.  Oudry  were  placed  near  Rosanette,  Arnoux  was 
facing  her.  Palazot  and  his  female  companion  had 
just  gone  out. 

"  Good-bye  to  them !  "  said  she.  "  Now  let  us  begin 
the  attack !  " 

And  the  choir-boy,  a  facetious  man,  with  a  big  sign 
of  the  cross,  said  grace. 

The  ladies  were  scandalised,  and  especially  the  fish- 
wife, who  was  the  mother  of  a  young  girl  of  whom 
she  wished  to  make  an  honest  woman.  Neither  did 
Arnoux  care  for  "  that  sort  of  thing,"  as  he  considered 
that  religion  ought  to  be  respected. 

A  German  clock  with  a  cock  attached  to  it  happening 


to  chime  out  the  hour  of  two,  gave  rise  to  a  number 
of  jokes  about  the  cuckoo.  All  kinds  of  talk  followed 
— puns,  anecdotes,  bragging  remarks,  bets,  lies  taken 
for  truth,  improbable  assertions,  a  tumult  of  words, 
which  soon  became  dispersed  in  the  form  of  conversa- 
tion between  particular  individuals.  The  wines  went 
round;  the  dishes  succeeded  one  another;  the  doctor 
carved.  The  angel  poised  on  the  piano-stool — the  only 
place  on  which  her  wings  permitted  her  to  sit — was 
placidly  masticating  without  stopping. 

"  What  an  appetite !  "  the  choir-boy  kept  repeating 
in  amazement,  "  what  an  appetite !  " 

And  a  sphinx  drank  brandy,  screamed  out  with  her 
mouth  full,  and  wriggled  like  a  demon.  Suddenly  her 
jaws  swelled,  and  no  longer  being  able  to  keep  down 
the  blood  which  rushed  to  her  head  and  nearly  choked 
her,  she  pressed  her  napkin  against  her  lips  and  threw 
herself  under  the  table. 

Frederick  had  seen  her  falling :  "  Tis  nothing !  " 
And  at  his  request  to  be  allowed  to  go  and  look  after 
her,  she  replied  slowly : 

"  Pooh !  what's  the  use?  That's  just  as  pleasant  as 
anything  else.  Life  is  not  so  amusing ! " 

Then,  he  shivered,  a  feeling  of  icy  sadness  taking 
possession  of  him,  as  if  he  had  caught  a  glimpse  of 
whole  worlds  of  wretchedness  and  despair — a  chafing- 
dish  of  charcoal  beside  a  folding-bed,  the  corpses  of 
the  Morgue  in  leathern  aprons,  with  the  stream  of  cold 
water  flowing  over  their  heads. 

Meanwhile  Hussonnet,  seated  at  the  feet  of  the  fe- 
male savage,  was  howling  in  a  hoarse  voice  in  imi- 
tation of  the  actor  Grassot : 

"  Be  not  cruel,  O  Celuta !  this  little  family  fete  is 
charming !  Intoxicate  me  with  delight,  my  loves !  Let 
us  be  gay !  let  us  be  gay !  " 


And  he  began  kissing  the  women  on  the  shoulders. 
They  quivered  under  the  tickling  of  his  moustaches. 
Then  he  conceived  the  idea  of  breaking  a  plate  over 
his  head.  Others  followed  his  example.  The  broken 
earthenware  flew  about  in  bits  like  slates  in  a  storm; 
and  the  'longshore-woman  exclaimed : 

"  Don't  bother  yourselves  about  that ;  they  cost  noth- 
ing. We  get  a  present  of  them  from  the  merchant 
who  makes  them  !  " 

Every  eye  was  riveted  on  Arnoux.    He  replied : 

"  Ha !  about  the  invoice — allow  me !  "  desiring,  no 
doubt,  to  pass  for  not  being,  or  for  no  longer  being,  Ro- 
sanette's  lover. 

But  two  angry  voices  here  interrupted : 


"  Rascal !  " 

"  I  am  at  your  command !  " 

"  So  am  I  at  yours  !  " 

It  was  the  mediaeval  knight  and  the  Russian  postilion 
who  were  disputing,  the  latter  having  stated  that  ar- 
mour dispensed  with  bravery,  while  the  other  regarded 
this  view  as  an  insult.  He  desired  to  fight;  all  inter- 
posed to  prevent  him,  and  in  the  midst  of  the  uproar 
the  captain  tried  to  make  himself  heard. 

"  Listen  to  me,  Messieurs !  One  word !  I  have  some 
experience,  Messieurs !  " 

Rosanette,  by  tapping  with  her  knife  on  a  glass, 
succeeded  eventually  in  restoring  silence,  and,  address- 
ing the  knight,  who  had  his  helmet  on,  and  then  the 
postilion,  whose  head  was  covered  with  a  large  hairy 

"  Take  off  that  saucepan  of  yours !  and  you,  there, 
your  wolf's  head !  Are  you  going  to  obey  me,  damn 
you  ?  Show  respect  to  my  epaulets !  I  am  your  com- 
manding officer ! " 


They  complied,  and  everyone  applauded,  exclaim- 
ing-, "  Long-  live  the  Marechale !  long  live  the  Mare- 
chale !  "  Then  she  took  a  bottle  of  champagne  off  the 
stove,  and  poured  its  contents  into  the  cups  which  they 
successively  stretched  out  to  her. 

The  little  birds  of  the  aviary,  the  door  of  which  had 
been  left  open,  flew  into  the  apartment,  quite  scared ; 
they  flew  round  the  chandelier,  knocking  against  the 
window-panes  and  against  the  furniture,  and  some  of 
them,  alighting  on  the  heads  of  the  guests,  looked  like 
large  flowers. 

The  musicians  had  gone.  The  piano  had  been  drawn 
out  of  the  anteroom.  The  Vatnaz  seated  herself  before 
it,  and,  accompanied  by  the  choir-boy,  who  thumped 
his  tambourine,  she  wildly  dashed  into  a  quadrille, 
striking  the  keys  like  a  horse  pawing  the  ground,  and 
wriggling  her  waist,  the  better  to  mark  the  time.  The 
Marechale  dragged  out  Frederick ;  Hussonnet  took  the 
windmill ;  the  'longshore-woman  worked  her  joints  like 
a  circus-clown ;  the  merry-andrew  acted  after  the  man- 
ner of  an  orang-outang;  the  female  savage,  with  out- 
spread arms,  imitated  the  swaying  motion  of  a  boat. 
At  last,  unable  to  keep  it  up  any  longer,  they  all 
stopped ;  and  a  window  was  flung  open. 

The  broad  daylight  penetrated  the  apartment  with 
the  cool  breath  of  morning.  There  was  an  exclamation 
of  astonishment,  followed  by  silence. '  The  hangings 
were  soiled,  the  dresses  rumpled  and  dusty.  The  plaits 
of  the  women's  hair  hung  loose  over  their  shoulders, 
and  the  paint,  trickling  down  with  the  perspiration, 
revealed  pallid  faces  and  red,  blinking  eyelids. 

The  Marechale,  fresh  as  if  she  had  just  stepped  out 
of  a  bath,  had  rosy  cheeks  and  sparkling  eyes.  She 
flung  her  wig  away,  and  her  hair  fell  around  her  like 
fleece,  allowing  none  of  her  uniform  to  be  seen  ex- 


cept  her  breeches,  the  effect  thus  produced  being  at  the 
same  time  comical  and  pretty. 

The  Sphinx,  whose  teeth  chattered  as  if  she  had 
the  ague,  asked  for  a  shawl. 

Rosanette  rushed  up  to  her  own  room  to  look  for 
one,  and,  as  the  other  came  after  her,  she  quickly  shut 
the  door  in  her  face. 

The  Turk  remarked,  in  a  loud  tone,  that  M.  Oudry 
had  not  been  seen  going  out.  Nobody  paid  any 
attention  to  the  maliciousness  of  this  observation,  so 
worn  out  were  they  all. 

Then,  while  waiting  for  vehicles,  they  managed  to 
get  on  their  broad-brimmed  hats  and  cloaks.  It  struck 
seven.  The  angel  was  still  in  the  dining-room,  with 
a  plate  of  sardines  and  fruit  stewed  in  melted  butter  in 
front  of  her,  and  close  beside  her  was  the  fishwife, 
smoking  cigarettes,  while  giving  her  advice  as  to  the 
right  way  to  live. 

At  last,  the  cabs  having  arrived,  the  guests  took 
their  departure.  But  the  angel,  attacked  by  the  pre- 
liminary symptoms  of  indigestion,  was  unable  to  rise. 
A  mediaeval  baron  carried  her  to  a  cab. 

"  Take  care  of  her  wings !  "  cried  the  'longshore- 
woman  through  the  window. 

At  the  head  of  the  stairs,  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz  said 
to  Rosanette: 

"  Good-bye,  darling !    It  has  been  a  very  nice  party." 

Then,  bending  close  to  her  ear :  "  Take  care  of 

"  Till  better  times  come,"  returned  the  Marechale,  in 
drawling  tones,  as  she  turned  her  back. 

Arnoux  and  Frederick  returned  together,  just  as 
the^  had  come.  The  dealer  in  faience  looked  so  gloomy 
that  his  companion  asked  if  he  were  ill. 

"I?  Not  at  all!" 


He  bit  his  moustache,  knitted  his  brows ;  and  Fred- 
erick inquired  if  it  were  his  business  that  annoyed  him. 

"  By  no  means !  " 

Then  all  of  a  sudden : 

"  You  know  him — Pere  Oudry — don't  you  ?  " 

And,  with  a  spiteful  expression  on  his  countenance: 

"  He's  rich,  the  old  scoundrel !  " 

After  this,  Arnoux  spoke  about  an  important  piece 
of  ware-making,  which  had  to  be  finished  that  day 
at  his  works.  He  wished  to  see  it ;  the  train  was  start- 
ing in  an  hour. 

"  Meantime,  I  must  go  and  embrace  my  wife." 

"  Ha !  his  wife !  "  thought  Frederick.  Then  he 
made  his  way  home  to  go  to  bed,  with  his  head  aching 
terribly ;  and,  to  appease  his  thirst,  he  swallowed  a 
whole  carafe  of  water. 

Another  thirst  had  come  to  him — the  thirst  for 
women,  for  licentious  pleasure,  for  all  that  Parisian  life 
permitted  him  to  enjoy.  Then,  two  large  black  eyes, 
which  had  not  been  at  the  ball,  appeared ;  and,  light  as 
butterflies,  burning  as  torches,  they  came  and  went, 
ascended  to  the  cornice  and  descended  to  his  very 

Frederick  strove  desperately  to  recognise  those  eyes, 
but  could  not  do  so.  Already  the  dream  had  taken  hold 
of  him.  It  seemed  to  him  that  he  was  yoked  beside 
Arnoux  to  the  pole  of  a  hackney-coach,  and  that  the 
Marechale  sat  astride  of  him,  and  disembowelled  him 
with  her  gold  spurs. 



AT  the  corner  of  the  Rue  Rumfort  was  a  small 
mansion  which  was  just  what  Frederick 
needed.  He  purchased  it,  along  with  the 
horse,  the  brougham,  the  furniture,  and  a  couple  of 
flower  stands  which  were  taken  from  the  Arnoux's 
house  to  be  placed  on  each  side  of  his  drawing-room 
door.  In  the  rear  of  the  apartment  were  a  bedroom 
and  a  closet.  The  idea  occurred  to  his  mind  to  take 
in  Deslauriers  with  him.  But  how  could  he  receive 
her — her,  his  future  mistress?  The  presence  of  a 
friend  would  be  inconvenient.  He  knocked  down  the 
partition-wall  in  order  to  enlarge  the  drawing-room, 
and  converted  the  closet  into  a  smoking-room. 

He  bought  the  works  of  the  poets  whom  he  loved, 
books  of  travel,  atlases,  and  dictionaries,  for  he  had 
innumerable  plans  of  study.  He  hurried  on  the  work- 
men, rushed  about  to  the  different  shops,  and  in  his 
impatience  to  enjoy,  carried  off  everything  without 
even  bargaining  beforehand. 

From  the  tradesmen's  bills,  Frederick  calculated 
that  he  would  have  to  expend  very  soon  forty  thou- 
sand francs,  not  including  the  succession  duties,  which 
would  exceed  thirty-seven  thousand.  As  his  fortune 
was  in  landed  property,  he  wrote  to  the  notary  at 
Havre  to  sell  a  portion  of  it  that  he  might  pay  off 
his  debts  and  have  some  money  at  his  disposal.  Then, 
anxious  to  become  acquainted  at  last  with  that  vague 


entity,  glittering  and  indefinable,  which  is  known  as 
"  society,"  he  sent  a  note  to  the  Dambreuses  to  know 
whether  he  might  call  upon  them.  Madame,  in  reply, 
said  she  would  expect  a  visit  from  him  the  following 

This  happened  to  be  their  reception-day.  Carriages 
were  standing  in  the  courtyard.  Two  footmen  rushed 
forward  under  the  marquee,  and  a  third  at  the  head 
of  the  stairs  walked  before  him. 

Frederick  smiled  with  pleasure  in  spite  of  himself. 

At  last  he  reached  an  oval  apartment  wainscoted  in 
cypress-wood,  full  of  dainty  furniture,  and  letting 
in  the  light  through  a  single  sheet  of  plate-glass,  which 
looked  out  on  a  garden.  Madame  Dambreuse  was 
seated  at  the  fireside,  with  a  dozen  persons  gathered 
round  her  in  a  circle,  With  a  polite  greeting,  she 
signed  to  him  to  take  a  seat,  without,  however,  ex- 
hibiting any  surprise  at  not  having  seen  him  for  so 
long  a  time. 

Just  at  the  moment  he  was  entering  the  room,  they 
had  been  praising  the  eloquence  of  the  Abbe  Coeur. 
Then  they  deplored  the  immorality  of  servants,  a 
topic  suggested  by  a  theft  which  a  valet-de-chambre 
had  committed,  and  they  began  to  indulge  in  tittle- 
tattle.  Old  Madame  de  Sommery  had  a  cold ;  Made- 
moiselle de  Turvisot  had  married ;  the  Montcharrons 
were  not  expected  before  the  end  of  January ;  neither 
would  the  Bretancourts  return  for  some  time,  now 
that  people  remained  in  the  country  till  late  in  the 

Madame  Dambreuse  received  all  of  them  graciously. 
When  it  was  mentioned  that  anyone  was  ill,  she 
knitted  her  brows  with  a  pained  expression,  and  when 
balls  or  evening  parties  were  discussed,  assumed  a 
joyous  air.  She  would  ere  long  be  compelled  to  de- 


prive  herself  of  these  pleasures,  for  she  was  going 
to  take  away  from  a  boarding-school  a  niece  of  her 
husband,  an  orphan.  The  guests  extolled  her  de- 
votedness:  this  was  behaving  like  a  true  mother  of 
a  family. 

Frederick  gazed  at  her  attentively.  The  dull  skin 
of  her  face  looked  as  if  it  had  been  stretched  out,  and 
had  a  bloom  in  which  there  was  no  brilliancy,  like 
that  of  preserved  fruit.  But  her  hair,  which  she  wore 
in  corkscrew  curls,  after  the  English  fashion,  was 
finer  than  silk ;  her  eyes  were  of  a  sparkling  blue ;  and 
all  her  movements  were  dainty.  Seated  at  the  lower 
end  of  the  apartment,  on  a  small  sofa,  she  kept  brush- 
ing off  the  red  flock  from  a  Japanese  screen,  probably 
to  let  her  hands  be  seen  to  greater  advantage — long 
narrow  hands,  a  trifle  thin,  with  fingers  tilting  up  at 
the  points.  She  wore  a  grey  moire  gown  with  a  high- 
necked  body,  like  a  Puritan  lady. 

Frederick  inquired  whether  she  intended  to  go  to 
La  Fortelle  this  year.  Madame  Dambreuse  was  un- 
able to  say.  He  was  sure,  however,  of  one  thing,  that 
one  would  be  bored  to  death  in  Nogent. 

Then  the  visitors  thronged  in  more  quickly.  It 
soon  became  impossible  to  follow  the  conversation;  as 
Frederick  withdrew  Madame  Dambreuse  said  to  him : 

"  Every  Wednesday,  is  it  not,  Monsieur  Moreau  ?  " 
making  up  for  her  previous  apparent  indifference  by 
these  simple  words. 

He  was  satisfied.  Nevertheless,  he  took  a  deep 
breath  when  he  got  out  into  the  open  air;  and,  crav- 
ing a  less  artificial  environment,  Frederick  recalled  to 
mind  that  he  owed  the  Marechale  a  visit. 

The  door  of  the  anteroom  was  open.  Two  Hava- 
nese  lapdogs  rushed  forward.  A  voice  exclaimed : 

"  Delphine !    Delphine !    Is  that  you,  Felix  ?  " 


He  stood  there  without  advancing  a  step.  The  two 
little  dogs  kept  up  a  continuous  yelping.  At  length 
Rosanette  appeared,  wrapped  up  in  a  sort  of  dressing- 
gown  of  white  muslin  trimmed  with  lace,  and  with 
her  stockingless  feet  in  Turkish  slippers. 

"  Ah !  excuse  me,  Monsieur !  I  thought  it  was  the 
hairdresser.  One  minute ;  I  am  coming  back !  " 

And  he  was  left  alone  in  the  dining-room.  The 
Venetian  blinds  were  closed.  Frederick,  as  he  glanced 
round,  was  beginning  to  recall  the  hubbub  of  the  other 
night,  when  he  noticed  on  the  table,  in  the  middle  of 
the  room,  a  man's  hat,  an  old  felt  hat,  bruised,  greasy, 
dirty.  To  whom  did  this  hat  belong?  Impudently 
displaying  its  torn  lining,  it  seemed  to  say: 

"  I  have  the  laugh,  after  all !    I  am  the  master!  " 

The  Marechale  suddenly  reappeared  on  the  scene. 
She  picked  up  the  hat?>  opened  the  conservatory,  flung 
it  in  there,  shut  the  door  again  (other  doors  flew  open 
and  closed  again  at  the  same  moment),  and,  having 
brought  Frederick  through  the  kitchen,  she  introduced 
him  into  her  dressing-room. 

It  was  evident  that  this  was  the  most  frequented 
room  in  the  house,  and,  so  to  speak,  its  true  moral 
centre.  The  walls,  the  armchairs,  and  a  big  divan 
with  a  spring  were  adorned  with  a  chintz  pattern  on 
which  was  traced  a  great  deal  of  foliage.  On  a  white 
marble  table  stood  two  large  washhand-basins  of  fine 
blue  earthenware.  Crystal  shelves,  forming  a  what- 
not, were  laden  with  phials,  brushes,  combs,  sticks  of 
cosmetic,  and  powder-boxes.  The  fire  was  reflected 
in  a  high  cheval-glass.  A  sheet  was  hanging  outside 
a  bath,  and  odours  of  almond-paste  and  of  benzoin 
were  exhaled. 

"  You'll  excuse  the  disorder.  I'm  dining  out  this 


As  she  turned  on  her  heel,  she  nearly  crushed  one 
of  the  little  dogs.  Frederick  declared  that  they  were 
charming.  She  lifted  up  the  pair  of  them,  and  raising 
their  black  snouts  up  to  her  face : 

"  Come  !  do  a  laugh — kiss  the  gentleman  !  " 

A  man  dressed  in  a  dirty  overcoat  with  a  fur  collar 
entered  abruptly. 

"  Felix,  my  worthy  fellow,"  said  she,  "  you'll  have 
that  business  of  yours  attended  to  next  Sunday  with- 
out fail." 

The  man  proceeded  to  dress  her  hair.  Frederick 
told  her  he  had  heard  news  of  her  friends,  Madame 
de  Rochegune,  Madame  de  Saint-Florentin,  and  Ma- 
dame Lombard,  every  woman  being  noble,  just  as 
it  might  be  at  the  mansion  of  the  Dambreuses.  Then 
he  talked  about  the  theatres.  An  extraordinary  per- 
formance was  to  be  given  that  evening  at  the  Ambigu. 

"Shall  you  be  there?" 

"  Faith,  no!     I'm  staying  at  home." 

Delphine  appeared.  Her  mistress  scolded  her  for 
having  gone  out  without  permission. 

The  other  vowed  that  she  was  "  just  returning  from 

"  Well,  bring  me  your  book.  You  have  no  objec- 
tion, isn't  that  so  ?  " 

And,  reading  the  pass-book  in  a  low  tone,  Rosanette 
made  remarks  on  every  item.  The  different  sums 
were  not  added  up  correctly. 

"  Hand  me  four  sous  !  " 

Delphine  handed  the  amount  over  to  her,  and,  when 
she  had  sent  the  maid  away : 

"  Ah !  Holy  Virgin !  could  I  be  more  unfortunate 
than  I  am  with  these  creatures  ?  " 

Frederick  was  shocked  at  this  grumbling  about  ser- 
vants. It  recalled  the  others  too  vividly  to  his  mind, 


and  established  between  the  two  houses  a  kind  of 
irritating-  equality. 

When  Delphine  came  back  again,  she  drew  close 
to  the  Marechale's  side  in  order  to  whisper  something 
in  her  ear. 

"  Ah.  no  !    I  don't  want  her !  " 

Delphine  presented  herself  once  more. 

"  Madame,  she  insists." 

"  Ah,  what  a  nuisance!    Throw  her  out!  " 

At  the  same  moment,  an  old  lady,  dressed  in  black, 
pushed  open  the  door.  Frederick  heard  nothing,  saw 
nothing.  Rosanette  rushed  into  the  other  room  to 
meet  her. 

When  she  reappeared  her  cheeks  were  flushed,  and 
she  dropped  into  one  of  the  armchairs  without  saying 
a  word.  A  tear  fell  down  her  face ;  then,  turning  to- 
ward the  young  man  softly : 

"  What  is  your  first  name  ?  " 

''  Frederick." 

"  Ha !  Frederico !  It  doesn't  annoy  you  when  I 
address  you  in  that  way?" 

And  she  gazed  at  him  coaxingly,  almost  amorously. 

All  of  a  sudden  she  uttered  an  exclamation  of  de- 
light at  the  entrance  of  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz. 

The  lady-artist  had  no  time  to  spare  before  presid- 
ing at  her  table  d'hote  at  six  o'clock  sharp ;  and  she 
was  panting  for  breath,  being  completely  exhausted. 
She  first  took  out  of  her  pocket  a  gold  chain  in  a 
paper,  then  various  objects  that  she  had  bought. 

"  You  should  know  that  there  are  in  the  Rue  Jou- 
bert  splendid  Suede  gloves  at  thirty-six  sous.  Your 
dyer  requires  eight  days  more.  As  for  the  guipure, 
I  told  you  that  they  would  dye  it  again.  Bugneaux  has 
received  the  instalment  you  paid.  That's  all,  I  think. 
You  owe  me  a  hundred  and  eighty-five  francs." 


Rosanette  went  to  a  drawer  to  get  ten  napoleons. 
Neither  of  the  pair  had  any  money.  Frederick  offered 

"  I'll  pay  you  back,"  said  the  Vatnaz,  as  she  stuffed 
the  fifteen  francs  into  her  handbag.  "  But  you  are 
a  naughty  boy !  I  don't  love  you  any  longer — you 
didn't  ask  me  to  dance  with  you  even  once  the  other 
evening !  Ah !  my  dear,  I  came  across  a  case  of 
stuffed  humming-birds  which  are  perfect  loves  at  a 
shop  in  the  Quai  Voltaire.  If  I  were  in  your  place, 
I  would  make  myself  a  present  of  them.  Look  here! 
What  do  you  think  of  it  ?  " 

And  she  exhibited  an  old  remnant  of  pink  silk  which 
she  had  purchased  at  the  Temple  to  make  a  mediaeval 
doublet  for  Delmar. 

"  He  was  here  to-day,  wasn't  he  ?  " 

"  No." 

"  That's  strange. 

And,  after  a  minute's  silence : 

"  Where  are  you  going  this  evening?  " 

'  To  Alphonsine's,"  said  Rosanette,  this  being  the 
third  version  given  by  her  as  to  the  way  in  which  she 
was  going  to  pass  the  evening. 

Mademoiselle  Vatnaz  went  on :  "  And  what  news 
about  the  old  man  of  the  mountain  ?  " 

But,  with  an  abrupt  wink,  the  Marechale  bade  her 
hold  her  tongue;  and  she  accompanied  Frederick  out 
as  far  as  the  anteroom  to  find  out  how  soon  he  would 
see  Arnoux. 

"  Pray  ask  him  to  come — not  before  his  wife, 
mind ! ' 

At  the  top  of  the  stairs  an  umbrella  was  standing 
against  the  wall  near  a  pair  of  goloshes. 

"  Vatnaz's  goloshes,"  said  Rosanette.  "  What  a 
foot,  eh  ?  My  little  friend  is  rather  strongly  built !  " 


And,  in  a  melodramatic  tone,  making  the  final  letter 
of  the  word  roll : 

"  Don't  tru-us-st  her !  " 

Frederick,  emboldened  by  this  confidence,  tried  to 
kiss  her  on  the  neck. 

"  Oh,  do  it !     It  costs  nothing !  " 

He  felt  light-hearted  as  he  left  her,  having  no  doubt 
but  that  ere  long  the  Marechale  would  be  his  mistress. 
This  desire  awakened  another,  and,  in  spite  of  the 
species  of  grudge  that  he  owed  her,  he  felt  a  longing 
to  see  Madame  Arnoux. 

Besides,  he  would  have  to  call  at  her  house  in  order 
to  execute  the  commission  with  which  he  had  been 
entrusted  by  Rosanette. 

"But  now,"  thought  he  (it  had  just  struck  six), 
"  Arnoux  is  probably  at  home." 

So  he  postponed  his  visit  till  the  following  day. 

She  was  seated  in  the  same  attitude  as  on  the  former 
day,  and  was  sewing  a  little  boy's  shirt. 

The  child,  at  her  feet,  was  playing  with  a  wooden 
toy  menagerie.  Marthe,  a  short  distance  away,  was 

He  began  by  complimenting  her  on  her  children. 
She  replied  without  any  exaggeration  of  maternal 

The  room  had  a  peaceful  aspect.  A  glow  of  sun- 
shine crept  in  through  the  window-panes,  lighting  up 
the  angles  of  the  furniture,  and,  as  Madame  Arnoux 
sat  close  beside  the  window,  a  large  ray,  falling  on  the 
curls  over  the  nape  of  her  neck,  penetrated  with  liquid 
gold  her  skin,  which  appeared  like  amber. 

Then  he  said: 

"  This  young  lady  has  grown  very  tall  during  the 
past  three  years !  Do  you  remember,  Mademoiselle, 
when  you  slept  on  my  knees  in  the  carriage  ?  " 


Marthe  did  not  remember. 

"One   evening,   returning   from   Saint-Cloud?" 

There  was  a  look  of  peculiar  sadness  in  Madame 
Arnoux's  face.  Did  she  wish  to  prevent  any  allusion 
on  his  part  to  the  memories  they  possessed  in  common  ? 

Her  beautiful  black  eyes  glistened  as  they  moved 
gently  under  their  somewhat  drooping  lids,  and  her 
pupils  revealed  in  their  depths  an  inexpressible  kindness 
of  heart.  He  was  seized  with  a  love  stronger  than  ever, 
a  passion  that  knew  no  bounds.  It  enervated  him  to 
contemplate  the  object  of  his  attachment ;  with  an 
effort,  he  shook  off  this  feeling.  How  was  he  to  make 
the  most  of  himself?  by  what  means?  And,  having 
turned  the  matter  over  thoroughly  in  his  mind,  Fred- 
erick could  think  of  none  more  effectual  than  money. 

He  began  talking  about  the  weather,  which  was  less 
cold  than  it  had  been  at  Havre. 

"  You  have  been  there  ?  " 

"  Yes ;  about  a  family  matter — an  inheritance." 

"  Ah !  I  am  very  glad,"  she  said,  with  an  air  of 
such  genuine  pleasure  that  he  felt  as  touched  as  if 
she  had  rendered  him  a  great  service. 

She  asked  him  what  he  intended  to  do,  as  it  was 
necessary  for  a  man  to  occupy  himself  with  something. 

He  recalled  to  mind  his  false  position,  and  said 
that  he  hoped  to  reach  the  Council  of  State  with  the 
help  of  M.  Dambreuse,  the  secretary. 

"  You  are  acquainted  with  him,  then  ?  " 

"  Merely  by  name." 

Then,  in  a  low  tone: 

"He  brought  you  to  the  ball  the  other  night,  did 
he  not?" 

Frederick  remained  silent. 

;<  That  was  all  I  wanted  to  know ;  thanks !  " 

After  that  she  put  two  or  three  discreet  questions 


to  him  about  his  family  and  the  part  of  the  country 
in  which  he  lived.  It  was  very  kind  of  him  not  to 
have  forgotten  them  after  having  lived  so  long  away 
from  Paris. 

"  But  could  that  be  possible?  "  he  rejoined.  "  Have 
you  any  doubt  about  it  ?  " 

Madame  Arnoux  arose :  "  I  believe  that  you  enter- 
tain toward  us  a  true  and  steadfast  affection.  Au 

And  she  extended  her  hand  toward  him  in  a  sincere 
and  virile  fashion. 

Was  this  not  an  engagement,  a  promise  ?  Frederick 
felt  a  sense  of  delight  at  merely  living;  he  had  to  re- 
strain himself  to  keep  from  singing.  He  wanted  to 
do  generous  deeds,  to  give  alms. 

Then  he  remembered  his  friends.  The  first  of 
whom  he  thought  was  Hussonnet,  the  second  Pel- 
lerin.  The  humble  position  of  Dussardier  naturally 
claimed  consideration.  As  for  Cisy,  he  was  not  un- 
willing to  let  that  young  aristocrat  get  a  slight  glimpse 
of  the  extent  of  his  fortune.  He  wrote  accordingly 
to  all  four  to  come  to  a  housewarming  the  following 
Sunday  at  eleven  o'clock  sharp ;  and  he  invited  Deslau- 
riers  to  bring  Senecal. 

The  tutor  had  been  dismissed  from  the  third  board- 
ing-school in  which  he  had  been  employed  for  not 
having  given  his  consent  to  the  distribution  of  prizes 
— a  custom  which  he  looked  upon  as  dangerous  to 
equality.  He  was  now  with  an  engine-builder,  and 
for  the  past  six  months  had  not  lived  with  Deslauriers. 
There  had  been  nothing  unpleasant  about  their  parting. 

Senecal  had  been  visited  by  men  in  blouses — all 
patriots,  all  workmen,  honest  fellows  no  doubt,  but 
at  the  same  time  men  whose  society  was  distasteful 
to  the  advocate.  Besides,  he  disliked  certain  ideas  of 


his  friend,  excellent  though  they  might  be  as  weapons 
of  warfare.  He  held  his  tongue  through  motives  of 
ambition,  deeming  it  prudent  to  pay  deference  to  him 
in  order  to  exercise  control  over  him,  for  he  looked 
forward  impatiently  to  a  revolutionary  movement,  in 
which  he  calculated  on  making  an  opening  for  himself 
and  occupying  a  prominent  position. 

Senecal's  convictions  were  more  disinterested. 
Every  evening,  when  his  work  was  finished,  he  re- 
turned to  his  garret  and  sought  in  books  for  some- 
thing that  might  justify  his  dreams.  He  had  annotated 
the  Control  Social;  he  had  crammed  himself  with  the 
Revue  Indepcndante;  he  was  acquainted  with  Mably, 
Morelly,  Fourier,  Saint-Simon,  Comte,  Cabet,  Louis 
Blanc — 'the  heavy  cartload  of  Socialistic  writers — 
those  who  claim  for  humanity  the  dead  level  of  bar- 
racks, who  would  like  to  amuse  it  in  a  brothel  or  to 
bend  it  over  a  counter ;  and  from  a  medley  of  all  these 
things  he  constructed  an  ideal  of  virtuous  democracy, 
with  the  double  aspect  of  a  farm  in  which  the  land- 
lord was  to  receive  a  share  of  the  produce,  and  a 
spinning-mill,  a  sort  of  American  Lacedaemon,  in 
which  the  individual  would  only  exist  for  the  benefit 
of  the  community,  which  was  to  be  more  omnipotent, 
absolute,  infallible,  and  divine  than  the  Grand  Lamas 
and  the  Nebuchadnezzars.  He  had  no  doubt  as  to 
the  early  realisation  of  this  ideal;  and  Senecal  raged 
against  everything  that  he  considered  hostile  to  it 
with  the  logic  of  a  geometrician  and  the  zeal  of  an 
Inquisitor.  Titles  of  nobility,  crosses,  plumes,  liveries 
especially,  and  even  reputations  that  were  too  loud- 
sounding,  scandalised  him,  his  studies  as  well  as  his 
sufferings  intensifying  day  by  day,  his  essential  hatred 
of  every  kind  of  distinction  and  every  form  of  social 


"  What  do  I  owe  to  this  gentleman  that  I  should 
be  polite  to  him  ?  If  he  wants  me,  he  can  come  to  me." 

Deslauriers,  however,  induced  him  to  go  to  Fred- 
erick's reunion. 

They  found  their  friend  in  his  bedroom.  Spring- 
roller  blinds  and  double  curtains,  Venetian  mirrors — 
nothing  was  wanting  there.  Frederick,  in  a  velvet 
vest,  was  lying  back  on  an  easy-chair,  smoking  cigar- 
ettes of  Turkish  tobacco. 

Senecal  wore  the  stern  look  of  a  bigot  arriving  in 
the  midst  of  a  pleasure-party. 

Deslauriers  gave  him  a  single  comprehensive  glance ; 
then,  with  a  very  low  bow : 

"  Monseigneur,  permit  me  to  pay  my  respects  to 
you !  " 

Dussardier  leaped  on  his  neck.  "  So  you  are  a  rich 
man  now.  Ah !  upon  my  soul,  so  much  the  better !  " 

Cisy  appeared  with  crape  on  his  hat.  Since  the 
death  of  his  grandmother,  he  was  in  the  enjoyment 
of  a  considerable  fortune,  and  was  less  bent  on  amus- 
ing himself  than  on  being  distinguished  from  others 
— not  being  the  same  as  everyone  else — in  short,  on 
"  having  the  proper  stamp."  This  was  his  favourite 

However,  it  was  now  midday,  and  they  were  all 

Frederick  was  waiting  for  some  one. 

At  the  mention  of  Arnoux's  name,  Pellerin  made 
a  wry  face.  He  considered  him  a  renegade  since  he 
had  abandoned  the  fine  arts. 

"  Suppose  we  pass  over  him — what  do  you  all  say 
to  that?" 

They  all  approved  of  this  suggestion. 

The  door  was  opened  by  a  man-servant  in  long 
gaiters;  and  the  dining-room  could  be  seen  with  its 


lofty  oak  plinths  relieved  with  gold,  and  its  two  side- 
boards laden  with  plate. 

These  luxuries  were  lost  on  Senecal.  He  began  by 
asking  for  household  bread  (the  hardest  that  could 
be  got),  and  in  connection  with  this  subject,  spoke 
of  the  murders  of  Buzangais  and  the  crisis  arising 
from  lack  of  the  means  of  subsistence. 

Nothing  of  this  sort  could  have  happened  if  agri- 
culture had  been  better  protected,  if  everything  had 
not  been  given  up  to  competition,  to  anarchy,  and  to 
the  deplorable  system  of  "  Let  things  alone !  let  things 
go  their  own  way !  "  It  was  in  this  manner  that  the 
feudalism  of  money  was  established — the  worst  form 
of  feudalism.  But  let  them  beware !  The  people  in 
the  end  will  get  tired  of  it,  and  may  make  the  capitalist 
pay  for  their  sufferings  either  by  bloody  proscriptions 
or  by  the  plunder  of  their  houses. 

Frederick  saw,  as  if  by  a  lightning-flash,  a  mob 
of  men  with  bare  arms  invading  Madame  Dambreuse's 
drawing-room,  and  smashing  the  mirrors  with  blows 
of  pikes. 

Senecal  went  on  to  say  that  the  workman,  owing 
to  the  insufficiency  of  wages,  was  more  unfortunate 
than  the  helot,  the  negro,  and  the  pariah,  especially 
if  he  has  children. 

"  Ought  he  to  get  rid  of  them  by  asphyxia,  as  some 
English  doctor,  whose  name  I  don't  remember — a 
disciple  of  Malthus — advises  ?  " 

And,  turning  towards  Cisy :  "  Are  we  to  be  forced 
to  follow  the  advice  of  the  infamous  Malthus  ?  " 

Cisy,  who  was  ignorant  of  the  infamy  and  even  of 
the  existence  of  Malthus,  said  by  way  of  reply,  that 
after  all,  much  human  misery  was  relieved,  and  that 
the  higher  classes 

"  Ha !  the  higher  classes !  "  said  the  Socialist,  with 


a  sneer.  "  To  commence  with,  there  are  no  higher 
classes.  'Tis  the  heart  alone  that  makes  anyone  higher 
than  another.  We  want  no  alms,  understand !  but 
equality,  the  fair  division  of  what  is  produced." 

What  he  required  was  that  the  workman  might  be- 
come a  capitalist,  just  as  thfe  soldier  might  become 
a  colonel.  The  trade-wardenships,  at  least,  in  limit- 
ing the  number  of  apprentices,  prevented  workmen 
from  growing  inconveniently  numerous,  and  the  sen- 
timent of  fraternity  was  kept  up  by  means  of  the  fetes 
and  the  banners. 

Hussonnet,  as  a  poet,  regretted  the  banners ;  so  did 
Pellerin,  too — a  predilection  which  had  taken  pos- 
session of  him  at  the  Cafe  Dagneaux,  while  listening 
to  the  Phalansterians  talking.  He  expressed  the 
opinion  that  Fourier  was  a  great  man. 

"  Come  now !  "  said  Deslauriers.  "  An  old  fool 
who  sees  in  the  overthrow  of  governments  the  effects 
of  Divine  vengeance.  He  is  just  like  my  lord  Saint- 
Simon  and  his  church,  with  his  hatred  of  the  French 
Revolution — a  set  of  buffoons  who  would  fain  re- 
establish Catholicism." 

M.  de  Cisy,  no  doubt  in  order  to  get  information 
or  to  make  a  good  impression,  broke  in  with  this  re- 
mark, which  he  uttered  in  a  mild  tone: 

"  These  two  men  of  science  are  not,  then,  of  the 
same  way  of  thinking  as  Voltaire  ?  " 

"  That  fellow  !     I  make  you  a  present  of  him !  " 

"How  is  that?     Why,  I  thought— 

"  Oh !  no,  he  did  not  love  the  people !  " 

Then  the  conversation  came  down  to  contemporary 
events:  the  Spanish  marriages,  the  dilapidations  of 
Rochefort,  the  new  chapter-house  of  Saint-Denis, 
which  had  led  to  the  taxes  being  doubled.  But,  accord- 
ing to  Senecal,  they  were  not  high  enough ! 


"  And  why  are  they  paid  ?  My  God !  to  erect  the 
palace  for  apes  at  the  Museum,  to  allow  showy  staff- 
officers  to  parade  along  our  squares,  or  to  maintain 
a  Gothic  etiquette  among  the  flunkeys  of  the  Chateau !" 

"  I  read  in  the  Mode,"  said  Cisy,  "  that  at  the  Tuil- 
eries  ball  on  the  feast  of  Saint-Ferdinand,  everyone 
was  disguised  as  a  miser." 

"  How  pitiable !  "  said  the  Socialist,  with  a  shrug 
of  his  shoulders,  as  if  to  indicate  his  disgust. 

"  And  the  Museum  of  Versailles !  "  exclaimed  Pel- 
lerin.  "  Let  us  talk  about  that !  These  idiots  have 
foreshortened  a  Delacroix  and  lengthened  a  Gros! 
At  the  Louvre  they  have  so  well  restored,  scratched, 
and  made  a  jumble  of  all  the  canvases,  that  in  ten 
years  probably  not  one  will  be  left.  As  for  the  mis- 
takes in  the  catalogue,  a  German  has  written  a  whole 
volume  on  the  subject.  Upon  my  word,  the  foreigners 
are  laughing  at. us." 

"  Yes,  we  are  the  laughing-stock  of  Europe,"  said 

"  Tis  because  Art  is  conveyed  in  fee-simple  to  the 

"  As  long  as  we  haven't  universal  suffrage " 

"  Allow  me !  " — for  the  artist,  having  been  rejected 
at  every  salon  for  the  last  twenty  years,  was  filled 
with  bitterness  against  Power. 

"  Ah !  why  let  them  bother  us  ?  As  for  me,  I  ask  for 
nothing.  Only  the  Chambers  ought  to  pass  enactments 
in  the  interests  of  Art.  A  chair  of  aesthetics  should  be 
established  with  a  professor  who,  being  a  practical 
man  as  well  as  a  philosopher,  would  succeed,  I  hope, 
in  grouping  the  multitude.  You  would  do  well,  Hus- 
sonnet,  to  touch  on  this  matter  with  a  word  or  two 
in  your  newspaper !  " 

"  Are  the  newspapers  free  ?  are  we  ourselves  free  ?  " 


said  Deslauriers  in  an  angry  tone.  "  When  one  re- 
flects that  there  might  be  as  many  as  twenty-eight 
different  formalities  to  set  up  a  boat  on  the  river,  it 
makes  me  feel  a  longing  to  go  and  live  amongst  the 
cannibals !  The  Government  is  eating  us  up.  Every- 
thing belongs  to  it — philosophy,  law,  the  arts,  the 
very  air  of  heaven ;  and  France,  bereft  of  all  energy, 
lies  under  the  boot  of  the  gendarme  and  the  cassock 
of  the  devil-dodger  with  the  death-rattle  in  her 
throat !  " 

The  future  Mirabeau  thus  poured  out  his  bile  in 
abundance.  Finally  he  raised  his  glass  in  his  right 
hand,  and  with  his  other  arm  akimbo,  and  his  eyes 

"  I  drink  to  the  utter  destruction  of  the  existing 
order  of  things — that  is  to  say,  of  everything  included 
in  the  words  Privilege,  Monopoly,  Regulation,  Hier- 
archy, Authority,  State !  " — and  in  a  louder  voice — 
"  which  I  would  like  to  smash  as  I  do  this !  "  dashing 
on  the  table  the  beautiful  wine-glass,  which  broke  into 
a  thousand  pieces. 

They  all  applauded,  and  especially  Dussardier. 

Frederick  was  a  little  surprised  at  these  views. 
They  probably  bored  Cisy,  for  he  changed  the  con- 
versation to  the  tableaux  vivants  at  the  Gymnase, 
which  at  that  time  were  very  popular. 

Senecal  regarded  them  with  disfavour.  Such  ex- 
hibitions demoralised  the  daughters  of  the  proletariat. 
Then,  it  was  noticeable  that  they  went  in  for  a  display 
of  shameless  luxury.  He  approved  of  the  conduct  of 
the  Bavarian  students  who  insulted  Lola  Montes.  In 
imitation  of  Rousseau,  he  expressed  more  esteem  for 
the  wife  of  a  coal-porter  than  for  the  mistress  of  a 

"  You  don't  appreciate  dainties,"  retorted  Hussonnet 


in  a  majestic  tone.  And  he  took  up  the  championship 
of  ladies  of  this  class  in  order  to  praise  Rosanette. 
Then,  as  he  happened  to  make  an  allusion  to  the  ball 
at  her  house  and  to  Arnoux's  costume,  Pellerin 
remarked : 

"  It  is  rumoured  that  he  is  becoming  shaky." 

The  picture-dealer  had  just  been  engaged  in  a  law- 
suit with  reference  to  his  grounds  at  Belleville,  and 
he  was  actually  in  a  kaolin  company  in  Lower  Brit- 
tany with  other  rogues  of  the  same  sort. 

Dussardier  knew  still  more  about  him,  for  his  own 
master,  M.  Moussinot,  having  made  inquiries  about 
Arnoux  from  the  banker,  Oscar  Lefebvre,  the  latter 
had  said  that  he  considered  him  by  no  means  solvent, 
as  he  knew  that  bills  of  his  had  been  renewed. 

Dessert  was  over;  they  passed  into  the  drawing- 
room,  which  was  hung,  like  that  of  the  Marechale, 
in  yellow  damask  in  the  style  of  Louis  XVI. 

Pellerin  criticised  Frederick  for  not  having  chosen 
in  preference  the  Neo-Greek  style ;  Senecal  rubbed 
matches  against  the  hangings ;  Deslauriers  said 

There  was  a  bookcase  set  up  there,  which  he  referred 
to  as  "  a  little  girl's  library."  The  principal  contem- 
porary writers  were  to  be  found  there.  It  was  impos- 
sible to  speak  about  their  works,  for  Hussonnet  im- 
mediately began  relating  anecdotes  with  reference  to 
their  personal  characteristics,  criticising  their  faces, 
their  habits,  their  dress,  glorifying  fifth-rate  intellects 
and  disparaging  the  greater  ones ;  and  all  the  while 
making  it  clear  that  he  deplored  and  despised  modern 

He  instanced  some  village  ditty  as  containing  in 
itself  alone  more  poetry  than  all  the  lyrics  of  the  nine- 
teenth century.  He  maintained  that  Balzac  was  over- 


rated,  that  Byron  was  effaced,  and  that  Hugo  knew 
nothing  about  the  stage. 

"  Why,  then,"  said  Senecal,  "  have  you  not  got  the 
volumes  of  the  working-men  poets  ?  " 

And  M.  de  Cisy,  who  devoted  his  attention  to  lit- 
erature, was  astonished  at  not  seeing  on  Frederick's 
table  some  of  those  new  physiological  studies — the 
physiology  of  the  smoker,  of  the  angler,  of  the  man 
employed  at  the  barrier. 

They  irritated  him  to  such  an  extent  that  he  would 
have  liked  to  shove  them  out  by  the  shoulders. 

'  They  are  making  me  appear  quite  stupid !  "  And 
he  drew  Dussardier  aside,  and  wished  to  know  whether 
he  could  do  him  any  service. 

The  honest  fellow  was  moved.  He  answered  that 
his  post  of  cashier  entirely  sufficed  for  his  wants. 

After  that,  Frederick  led  Deslauriers  into  his  own 
apartment,  and,  taking  out  of  his  escritoire  two  thou- 
sand francs : 

"  Look  here,  old  boy,  put  this  money  in  your  pocket. 
Tis  the  balance  of  my  old  debts  to  you." 

"  But — what  about  the  journal?  "  said  the  advocate. 
"  You  know,  of  course,  that  I  spoke  about  it  to  Hus- 

And,  when  Frederick  replied  that  he  was  "  a  little 
short  of  cash  just  now,"  the  other  smiled  in  a  sinister 

After  the  liqueurs  they  drank  beer,  and  after  the 
beer,  grog ;  then  they  lighted  their  pipes  once  more. 
At  last  they  left,  at  five  o'clock  in  the  evening.  They 
were  walking  along  at  each  other's  side  without  speak- 
ing, when  Dussardier  broke  the  silence  by  saying 
that  Frederick  had  entertained  them  in  excellent  style. 
They  all  agreed  with  him  on  that  point. 

Then  Hussonnet  remarked  that  his  luncheon  was 


too  heavy.  Senecal  complained  of  the  trivial  char- 
acter of  his  household  arrangements.  Cisy  took  the 
same  view.  It  was  absolutely  devoid  of  the  "  proper 

"  For  my  part,  I  think,"  said  Pellerin,  "  he  might 
have  had  the  grace  to  give  me  an  order  for  a  picture?' 

Deslauriers  held  his  tongue,  as  he  had  the  bank- 
notes that  had  been  given  to  him  in  his  breeches'  pocket. 

Frederick  was  left  by  himself.  He  thought  about  his 
friends,  and  it  seemed  to  him  as  if  a  huge,  dark  ditch 
separated  him  from  them.  He  had  held  out  his  hand 
to  them,  and  they  had  not  responded  to  the  sincerity  of 
his  heart. 

He  recalled  what  Pellerin  and  Dussardier  had  said 
about  Arnoux.  Surely  it  must  be  an  invention,  a  cal- 
umny? But  why?  And  he  had  a  vision  of  Madame 
Arnoux,  ruined,  weeping,  selling  her  furniture.  This 
idea  tormented  him  all  night  long.  Next  day  he  pre- 
sented himself  at  her  house. 

At  a  loss  to  find  any  way  of  telling  her  what  he  had 
heard,  he  asked,  as  if  in  casual  conversation,  whether 
Arnoux  still  held  possession  of  his  building  grounds 
at  Belleville. 

"  Yes,  he  has  them  still." 

"  He  is  now,  I  believe,  a  shareholder  in  a  kaolin 
company  in  Brittany." 

"  That  is  so." 

"  His  earthenware-works  are  going  on  very  well, 
are  they  not  ?  " 

"  Well— I  suppose  so— 

And,  as  he  hesitated : 

"  What  is  the  matter  ?    You  alarm  me !  " 

He  told  her  the  story  about  the  renewals.  She  hung 
down  her  head,  and  said : 

"  I  thought  so !  " 


In  fact,  Arnoux,  thinking  them  a  good  speculation, 
had  refused  to  sell  his  grounds,  had  borrowed  money 
extensively  on  them,  and  finding  no  purchasers,  had 
thought  of  rehabilitating  himself  by  establishing  the 
earthenware  manufactory.  The  expense  of  this  had 
exceeded  his  calculations.  She  knew  nothing  more. 
He  evaded  all  her  questions,  and  declared  repeatedly 
that  everything  was  going  on  very  well. 

Frederick  tried  to  reassure  her.  These  in  all  prob- 
ability were  mere  temporary  embarrassments.  How- 
ever, if  he  got  any  information,  he  would  impart  it  to 

"  Oh !  yes,  will  you  not  ?  "  said  she,  clasping  her  two 
hands  with  an  air  of  charming  supplication. 

So  thus  he  had  it  in  his  power  to  be  useful  to  her. 
He  was  now  entering  into  her  existence — occupying  a 
place  in  her  heart 

Arnoux  appeared. 

"  Ha !  how  nice  of  you  to  come  to  take  me  out  to 
dine !  " 

Frederick  was  silent. 

Arnoux  spoke  about  general  topics,  then  informed 
his  wife  that  he  would  be  home  very  late,  as  he  had  an 
appointment  with  Monsieur  Oudry. 

"At  his  house?" 

"  Why,  certainly,  at  his  house." 

As  they  went  down  the  stairs,  he  confessed  that,  as 
the  Marechale  had  no  engagement  at  home,  they  were 
going  on  a  secret  pleasure-party  to  the  Moulin  Rouge ; 
and,  as  he  always  needed  somebody  to  be  the  recipient 
of  his  outpourings,  he  got  Frederick  to  drive  him  to 
the  door. 

Instead  of  entering,  he  walked  about  on  the  footpath, 
looking  up  at  the  windows  on  the  second  floor.  Sud- 
denly the  curtains  parted. 


"  Ha  !  bravo  !    Oudry  is  gone !    Good  evening !  " 

Frederick  did  not  know  what  to  think. 

From  this  day  forth,  Arnoux  was  still  more  cordial 
than  before ;  he  invited  the  young  man  to  dine  with 
his  mistress ;  and  ere  long  Frederick  frequented  both 

Rosanette's  residence  furnished  him  with  amusement. 
He  used  to  call  there  of  an  evening  on  his  way  back 
from  the  club  or  the  play.  He  would  take  a  cup  of 
tea,  or  play  a  game  of  loto.  On  Sundays  they  played 
charades;  Rosanette,  more  noisy  than  the  rest,  made 
herself  conspicuous  by  funny  tricks,  such  as  running 
on  all-fours  or  muffling  her  head  in  a  cotton  cap,  so 
that  she  might  watch  the  passers-by  through  the  win- 
dow, she  had  a  hat  of  waxed  leather ;  she  smoked  chi- 
bouks and  sang  Tyrolese  airs.  In  the  afternoon,  to 
kill  time,  she  cut  out  flowers  in  a  piece  of  chintz  and 
pasted  them  against  the  window-panes,  smeared  her 
two  little  dogs  with  varnish,  burned  pastilles,  or  drew 
cards  to  tell  her  fortune.  Incapable  of  resisting  a  de- 
sire, she  became  infatuated  about  some  trinket  which 
she  happened  to  see,  and  could  not  sleep  till  she  had 
bought  it,  then  bartered  it  for  another,  sold  costly 
dresses  for  little  or  nothing,  lost  her  jewellery,  wasted 
money,  and  would  have  sold  her  chemise  for  a  stage- 
box  at  the  theatre.  Often  she  asked  Frederick  to  ex- 
plain to  her  some  word  she  came  across  when  reading 
a  book,  but  paid  no  attention  to  his  answer ;  she  jumped 
quickly  to  another  idea,  while  heaping  questions  on  top 
of  each  other.  After  periods  of  gaiety  came  childish 
outbursts  of  rage,  or  sometimes  she  sat  on  the  ground 
dreaming  before  the  fire  with  her  head  bent  and  her 
hands  clasping  her  knees,  more  inert  than  a  torpid 
adder.  Quite  indifferently,  she  made  her  toilet  in  his 
presence,  drew  on  her  silk  stockings,  then  washed  her 


face  with  great  splashes  of  water,  throwing  back  her 
figure  as  if  she  were  a  shivering  naiad ;  her  laughing 
white  teeth,  her  sparkling  eyes,  her  beauty,  her  gaiety, 
dazzled  Frederick,  and  made  his  nerves  tingle  under 
the  lash  of  desire. 

Usually  he  found  Madame  Arnoux  teaching  her  lit- 
tle boy  to  read,  or  standing  behind  Marthe's  chair  while 
she  played  her  scales  on  the  piano.  When  she  was 
sewing,  it  was  a  great  source  of  delight  to  him  to  pick 
up  her  scissors  now  and  then.  In  all  her  movements 
there  was  a  tranquil  majesty.  Her  little  hands  seemed 
made  to  scatter  alms  and  to  wipe  away  tears,  and  her 
voice,  naturally  rather  hollow,  had  caressing  intona- 
tions and  a  sort  of  breezy  lightness. 

She  was  not  very  enthusiastic  about  literature ;  but 
her  intelligence  exercised  a  charm  by  the  use  of  a  few 
simple  and  penetrating  words.  She  loved  travelling, 
the  sound  of  the  wind  in  the  woods,  and  to  walk  with 
uncovered  head  under  the  rain. 

Frederick  listened  to  these  confidences  with  rapture, 
fancying  that  he  saw  in  them  the  beginning  of  a  cer- 
tain self-abandonment  on  her  part. 

His  association  with  these  two  women  made,  as  it 
were,  two  different  strains  of  music  in  his  life,  the  one 
playful,  passionate,  diverting,  the  other  grave  and  al- 
most religious,  and  vibrating  both  at  the  same  time, 
they  increased  in  volume  and  gradually  blended  with 
one  another;  for  if  Madame  Arnoux  happened  merely 
to  touch  him  with  her  ringer,  the  image  of  the  other 
immediately  presented  itself  to  him  as  an  object  of 
desire,  because  from  that  quarter  a  better  opportunity 
was  thrown  in  his  way,  and  when  his  heart  happened  to 
be  touched  by  Rosanette,  he  was  immediately  reminded 
of  the  woman  for  whom  he  felt  such  a  consuming 


This  confusion  was  occasioned,  in  some  measure,  by 
a  similarity  which  existed  between  the  interiors  of  the 
two  houses.  One  of  the  cabinets  which  was  formerly 
in  the  Boulevard  Montmartre  now  adorned  Rosanette's 
dining-room.  The  same  courses  were  served  up  for 
dinner  in  both  places,  and  even  the  same  velvet  cap 
was  to  be  found  trailing  over  the  easy-chairs ;  then,  a 
heap  of  little  presents — screens,  boxes,  fans — went  to 
the  mistress's  house  from  the  wife's  and  returned 
again,  for  Arnoux,  without  the  slightest  embarrass- 
ment, often  took  from  the  one  some  thing  he  had  given 
her  in  order  to  make  a  present  of  it  to  the  other. 

The  Marechale  laughed  with  Frederick  at  the  utter 
lack  of  propriety  which  his  habits  exhibited.  One  Sun- 
day, after  dinner,  she  led  him  behind  the  door,  and 
showed  him  in  Arnoux's  overcoat  a  bag  of  cakes  which 
he  had  just  pilfered  from  the  table,  in  order,  no  doubt, 
to  regale  his  little  family  at  home.  Monsieur  Arnoux 
lent  himself  to  some  rogueries  which  bordered  on  vile- 
ness.  It  seemed  to  him  a  duty  to  practise  fraud  with 
regard  to  the  city  dues ;  he  never  paid  when  he  went  to 
the  theatre,  or  if  he  took  a  ticket  for  the  second  seats 
always  tried  to  make  his  way  into  the  first;  and  he 
used  to  tell,  as  an  excellent  joke,  that  it  was  his  custom 
at  the  cold  baths  to  put  into  the  waiters'  collection-box 
a  breeches'  button  instead  of  a  ten-sous  piece — and 
this  did  not  prevent  the  Marechale  from  loving  him. 

One  day,  however,  she  said,  while  talking  about  him  : 

"  Ah !  he's  becoming  a  nuisance  to  me,  at  last !  I've 
had  enough  of  him!  Faith,  so  much  the  better — I'll 
find  some  one  else  instead !  " 

Frederick  believed  that  the  other  had  already  been 
found,  and  that  his  name  was  Monsieur  Oudry. 

"  Well,"  said  Rosanette,  "  what  does  that  signify  ?  " 

Then,  in  a  voice  choked  with  rising  tears : 


"  I  ask  him  for  very  little,  however,  and  he  won't 
give  me  that." 

He  had  even  promised  a  fourth  of  his  profits  in  the 
famous  kaolin  mines.  No  profit  made  its  appearance 
any  more  than  the  cashmere  with  which  he  had  been 
luring  her  on  for  the  last  six  months. 

Frederick  thought  of  making  her  a  present  himself. 
Arnoux  might  regard  it  as  a  reproof,  and  be  annoyed 
at  it. 

For  all  that,  he  was  good-natured,  his  wife  herself 
said  so,  but  so  foolish !  Instead  of  bringing  people  to 
dine  every  day  at  his  house,  he  now  entertained  at  a 
restaurant.  He  bought  things  that  were  utterly  use- 
less, such  as  gold  chains,  timepieces,  and  household 
articles.  Madame  Arnoux  even  pointed  out  to  Fred- 
erick in  the  lobby  an  enormous  number  of  tea-kettles, 
foot-warmers,  and  samovars.  Finally,  she  one  day 
confessed  that  a  certain  matter  caused  her  much  anxi- 
ety. Arnoux  had  made  her  sign  a  promissory  note 
payable  to  Monsieur  Dambreuse. 

Meanwhile  Frederick  still  cherished  his  literary 
projects  as  if  it  were  a  point  of  honour  with  himself 
to  do  so.  He  wished  to  write  a  history  of  aesthetics,  a 
result  of  his  conversations  with  Pellerin ;  next,  to  write 
dramas  dealing  with  different  epochs  of  the  French 
Revolution,  and  to  compose  a  great  comedy,  an  idea 
resulting  from  the  indirect  influence  of  Deslauriers  and 
Hussonnet.  In  the  midst  of  his  work  her  face  or  that 
of  the  other  passed  before  his  mental  vision.  He  corn- 
batted  the  longing  to  see  her,  but  always  yielded  to  it ; 
and  he  felt  sadder  as  he  returned  from  Madame  Ar- 
noux's  house. 

On  morning,  while  he  was  brooding  over  his  melan- 
choly thoughts  by  the  fireside,  Deslauriers  came  in. 
The  incendiary  speeches  of  Senecal  had  filled  his  mas- 


ter  with  uneasiness,  and  once  more  he  was  without 

"  What  do  you  want  me  to  do  ?  "  said  Frederick. 

"  Nothing !  I  know  you  have  no  money.  But  it 
will  be  no  trouble  for  you  to  get  him  a  post  either 
through  Monsieur  Dambreuse  or  else  through  Arnoux. 
The  latter  is  sure  to  have  need  of  engineers  in  his  es- 

Frederick  had  an  inspiration.  Senecal  would  let  him 
know  when  the  husband  was  away,  carry  letters  for 
him  and  assist  him  on  a  thousand  occasions  when  op- 
portunities presented  themselves.  Services  of  this  sort 
are  always  rendered  between  man  and  man.  Besides, 
he  would  find  means  of  using  him  without  arousing  any 
suspicion  on  his  part.  Chance  offered  him  an  auxili- 
ary ;  it  was  a  circumstance  that  omened  well  for  the 
future,  and  he  hastened  to  take  advantage  of  it ;  with 
an  affectation  of  indifference,  he  replied  that  the  thing 
was  feasible  perhaps,  and  that  he  would  attend  to  it. 

And  he  did  so  at  once.  Arnoux  devoted  a  great  deal 
of  time  to  his  earthenware  works.  He  was  endeavour- 
ing to  discover  the  copper-red  of  the  Chinese,  but  his 
colours  evaporated  in  the  process  of  baking.  In  order 
to  prevent  cracks  in  his  ware,  he  mixed  lime  with  his 
potter's  clay;  but  the  articles  got  broken  for  the  most 
part;  the  enamel  of  his  paintings  on  the  raw  material 
boiled  away ;  his  large  plates  became  bulged ;  and,  at- 
tributing these  mischances  to  the  inferior  plant  of  his 
manufactory,  he  was  anxious  to  start  other  grinding- 
mills  and  other  drying-rooms.  Frederick  recalled  some 
of  these  things  to  mind,  and,  when  he  met  Arnoux, 
said  that  he  knew  a  very  able  man,  who  would  be  cap- 
able of  finding  his  famous  red.  Arnoux  gave  a  jump; 
then,  having  listened  to  what  the  young  man  had  to  tell 
him,  replied  that  he  wanted  assistance  from  nobody. 


Frederick  spoke  in  a  very  laudatory  style  about 
Senecal's  prodigious  attainments,  pointing  out  that  he 
was  at  the  same  time  an  engineer,  a  chemist,  and  an 
accountant,  being  a  mathematician  of  the  first  rank. 

The  earthenware-dealer  agreed  to  see  him. 

But  they  squabbled  over  the  emoluments.  Frederick 
interposed,  and,  at  the  end  of  a  week,  succeeded  in  get- 
ting them  to  come  to  terms. 

But  as  the  works  were  situated  at  Creil,  Senecal 
could  not  assist  him  in  any  way.  This  thought  alone 
was  enough  to  make  his  courage  flag,  as  if  he  had 
met  with  some  misfortune.  His  idea  was  that  the  more 
Arnoux  could  be  kept  apart  from  his  wife  the  better 
would  be  his  own  chance  with  her.  Then  he  proceeded 
to  make  repeated  apologies  for  Rosanette.  He  re- 
ferred to  all  the  wrongs  she  had  sustained  at  the  other's 
hands,  referred  to  the  vague  threats  which  she  had  ut- 
tered a  few  days  before,  and  even  mentioned  the  cash- 
mere without  concealing  the  fact  that  she  had  accused 
Arnoux  of  avarice. 

Arnoux,  nettled  at  the  word  (and,  furthermore,  feel- 
ing some  uneasiness),  brought  Rosanette  the  cashmere, 
but  scolded  her  for  having  complained  to  Frederick. 
When  she  told  him  that  she  had  reminded  him  a  hun- 
dred times  of  his  promise,  he  pretended  that,  owing  to 
pressure  of  business,  he  had  forgotten  all  about  it. 

The  next  day  Frederick  presented  himself  at  her 
abode,  and  found  the  Marechale  still  in  bed,  though  it 
was  two  o'clock,  with  Delmar  beside  her  finishing  a 
pate  de  foie  gras  at  a  little  round  table.  She  broke  out 
into  a  cry  of  delight,  saying :  "  I  have  him !  I  have 
him !  "  Then  she  seized  him  by  the  ears,  kissed  him 
on  the  forehead,  thanked  him  effusively,  "  thee'd  "  and 
"  thou'd  "  him,  and  even  wanted  him  to  sit  down  on  the 
bed.  Her  fine  eyes,  full  of  tender  emotion,  were 


sparkling  with  pleasure.  There  was  a  smile  on  her 
humid  mouth.  Her  two  round  arms  emerged  through 
the  sleeveless  opening  of  her  night-dress,  and,  from 
time  to  time,  he  could  feel  through  the  cambric  the 
well-rounded  outlines  of  her  form. 

All  this  time  Delmar  kept  rolling  his  eyeballs. 

"  But  really,  my  dear,  my  own  pet  .  .  ." 

It  was  the  same  way  on  the  occasion  when  he  saw 
her  next.  As  soon  as  Frederick  entered,  she  sat  up 
on  a  cushion  in  order  to  embrace  him  with  more  ease, 
called  him  a  darling,  a  "  dearie,"  put  a  flower  in  his 
button-hole,  and  settled  his  cravat.  These  attentions 
were  redoubled  when  Delmar  happened  to  be  there. 
Were  they  advances  on  her  part?  So  it  seemed  to 

As  for  deceiving  a  friend,  Arnoux,  in  his  place, 
would  have  had  no  scruples  on  that  score,  and  he  could 
not  be  expected  to  adhere  to  rigidly  virtuous  principles 
with  regard  to  this  man's  mistress,  seeing  that  his  re- 
lations with  the  wife  had  been  strictly  honourable,  for 
so  he  thought — or  rather  he  would  have  liked  Arnoux 
to  think  so,  in  any  event,  as  a  sort  of  justification  of 
his  own  prodigious  cowardice.  Nevertheless  he  felt 
somewhat  bewildered ;  presently  he  made  up  his  mind 
to  lay  siege  boldly  to  the  Marechale. 

So  one  afternoon,  just  as  she  was  stooping  down  in 
front  of  her  chest  of  drawers,  he  went  across  to  her, 
and  repeated  his  overtures  without  a  pause. 

Thereupon  she  began  to  cry,  saying  that  she  was 
very  unfortunate,  but  that  she  should  not  be  despised 
on  that  account. 

He  only  made  fresh  advances.  She  now  adopted  a 
different  plan,  namely,  to  laugh  at  his  attempts  without 
stopping.  He  thought  it  a  clever  thing  to  answer  her 
sarcasms  with  repartees  in  the  same  strain,  in  which 


there  was  even  a  touch  of  exaggeration.  But  he  made 
too  great  a  display  of  gaiety  to  convince  her  that  he 
was  in  earnest ;  and  their  comradeship  was  an  impedi- 
ment to  any  expression  of  serious  feeling.  At  last, 
when  she  said  one  day,  in  reply  to  his  amorous  whis- 
pers, that  she  would  not  take  another  woman's  leav- 
ings, he  answered. 

"  What  other  woman  ?  " 

"  Ah  !  yes,  go  and  meet  Madame  Arnoux  again !  " 

For  Frederick  used  to  talk  about  her  continually. 
Arnoux,  on  his  side,  had  the  same  mania.  At  last  she 
lost  patience  at  always  hearing  this  woman's  praises 
sung,  and  her  insinuation  was  a  kind  of  revenge. 

Frederick  resented  it.  However,  Rosanette  was  be- 
ginning to  excite  his  love  to  an  unusual  degree.  Some- 
times, pretending  to  be  a  woman  of  experience,  she 
spoke  lightly  of  love  with  a  sceptical  smile  that  made 
him  feel  inclined  to  box  her  ears.  A  quarter  of  an 
hour  afterward,  it  was  the  only  thing  that  mattered  in 
the  world,  and,  with  her  arms  crossed  over  her  breast, 
as  if  she  were  clasping  some  one  close  to  her :  "  Oh, 
yes,  'tis  good !  'tis  good !  "  and  her  eyelids  would 
quiver  in  a  kind  of  rapturous  swoon.  It  was  impos- 
sible to  understand  her,  to  know,  for  instance,  whether 
she  loved  Arnoux,  for  she  ridiculed  him,  and  yet 
seemed  jealous  of  him.  So  likewise  with  the  Vatnaz, 
whom  she  would  sometimes  call  a  wretch,  and  at  other 
times  her  best  friend.  In  short,  there  was  about  her 
entire  person,  even  to  the  arrangement  of  her  chignon 
upon  her  head  an  inexpressible  something  which 
seemed  like  a  challenge ;  and  he  desired  her  for  the 
satisfaction,  above  all,  of  conquering  her  and  being  her 

How  was  he  to  accomplish  this?  for  she  often  dis- 
missed him  unceremoniously,  appearing  only  for  a  mo- 


ment  between  two  doors  in  order  to  say  in  a  subdued 
voice,  "  I'm  engaged — for  the  evening ;  "  or  else  he 
found  her  surrounded  by  a  dozen  persons;  and  when 
they  were  alone,  so  many  impediments  presented  them- 
selves one  after  the  other,  that  one  would  have  sworn 
there  was  a  bet  to  keep  matters  from  going  any  further. 
He  invited  her  to  dinner ;  as  a  rule,  she  declined  the  in- 
vitation. On  one  occasion,  she  accepted  it,  but  did  not 

A  Machiavellian  idea  arose  in  his  mind. 

Having  heard  from  Dussardier  about  Pellerin's  com- 
plaints against  himself,  he  thought  of  giving  the  artist 
an  order  to  paint  the  Marechale's  portrait,  a  life-sized 
portrait,  which  would  necessitate  a  number  of  sittings. 
He  would  be  present  at  all  of  them.  The  habitual  in- 
correctness of  the  painter  would  facilitate  their  private 
conversations.  So  then  he  would  urge  Rosanette  to  get 
the  picture  executed  in  order  to  make  a  present  of  her 
face  to  her  dear  Arnoux.  She  consented,  for  she  saw 
herself  in  the  midst  of  the  Grand  Salon  in  the  most 
prominent  position  with  a  crowd  of  people  staring  at 
her  picture,  and  the  newspapers  would  all  talk  about 
it,  which  at  once  would  set  her  afloat. 

As  for  Pellerin,  he  eagerly  snatched  at  the  offer. 
This  portrait  might  be  the  making  of  him ;  it  ought  to 
be  a  masterpiece.  He  reviewed  in  his  memory  all  the 
portraits  by  great  masters  with  which  he  was  ac- 
quainted, and  decided  finally  in  favour  of  a  Titian, 
which  would  be  set  off  with  ornaments  in  the  style  of 
Veronese.  Therefore,  he  would  carry  out  his  design 
without  artificial  backgrounds  in  a  bold  light,  which 
would  illuminate  the  flesh-tints  with  a  single  tone,  and 
make  the  accessories  glitter. 

"  Suppose  I  were  to  put  on  her,"  he  thought,  "  a 
pink  silk  dress  with  an  Oriental  bournous?  Oh,  no! 


the  bournous  is  only  a  cheap  thing!  Or  suppose, 
rather,  I  were  to  make  her  wear  blue  velvet  with  a  grey 
background,  richly  coloured  ?  We  might  likewise  give 
her  a  white  guipure  collar  with  a  black  fan  and  a  scar- 
let curtain  behind."  And  thus,  seeking  for  ideas,  his 
conception  grew  ,and  he  regarded  it  with  great  admira- 

He  felt  his  heart  beating  when  Rosanette,  accom- 
panied by  Frederick,  arrived  at  his  house  for  the  first 
sitting.  He  placed  her  standing  up  on  a  sort  of  plat- 
form in  the  centre  of  the  apartment,  and,  finding  fault 
with  the  light  and  expressing  regret  at  the  loss  of  his 
former  studio,  he  first  made  her  lean  on  her  elbow 
against  a  pedestal,  then  sit  down  in  an  armchair,  and, 
drawing  away  from  her  and  coming  near  her  again 
by  turns  in  order  to  adjust  with  a  fillip  the  folds  of  her 
dress,  he  observed  her  with  eyes  half-closed,  and  ap- 
pealed to  Frederick's  taste  with  a  passing  word. 

"  Well,  no,"  he  exclaimed ;  "  I  return  to  my  own 
idea.  I  will  paint  you  in  the  Venetian  style." 

She  would  have  a  poppy-coloured  velvet  gown  with 
a  jewelled  girdle ;  and  her  wide  sleeve  lined  with  er- 
mine would  afford  a  glimpse  of  her  bare  arm,  which 
was  to  touch  the  balustrade  of  a  staircase  rising  behind 
her.  At  her  left,  a  large  column  would  rise  to  the  top 
of  the  canvas  to  meet  certain  structures  so  as  to  form 
an  arch.  Underneath  would  vaguely  be  distinguishable 
groups  of  orange-trees  almost  black,  through  which 
the  blue  sky,  with  its  streaks  of  white  cloud,  would 
seem  cut  into  fragments.  On  the  baluster,  covered 
with  a  carpet,  there  would  be,  on  a  silver  dish,  a  bou- 
quet of  flowers,  a  chaplet  of  amber,  a  poniard,  and  a 
little  chest  of  antique  ivory,  rather  yellow  with  age, 
which  would  appear  to  be  disgorging  gold  sequins. 
Some  of  them,  falling  on  the  ground  here  and  there, 


would  form  brilliant  splashes,  as  it  were,  in -such  a 
way  as  to  direct  one's  glance  toward  the  tip  of  her  foot, 
for  she  would  be  standing  on  the  last  step  but  one  in 
a  natural  position,  as  if  in  the  act  of  moving  under  the 
glow  of  the  broad  sunlight. 

He  went  to  look  for  a  picture-case,  which  he  had  laid 
on  the  platform  to  represent  the  step.  Then  he  ar- 
ranged as  accessories,  on  a  stool  by  way  of  balustrade, 
his  pea-jacket,  a  buckler,  a  sardine-box,  a  bundle  of 
pens,  and  a  knife;  and  when  he  had  flung  in  front  of 
Rosanette  a  dozen  big  sous,  he  got  her  to  assume  the 
attitude  he  required. 

"  Just  imagine  that  these  things  are  riches,  mag- 
nificent presents.  The  head  a  little  on  one  side !  Per- 
fect!  and  don't  stir!  This  majestic  pose  exactly  suits 
your  style  of  beauty." 

She  wore  a  plaid  dress  and  carried  a  big  muff,  and 
only  kept  from  laughing  outright  by  an  effort. 

"  As  regards  the  headdress,  we  will  mingle  with  it  a 
circle  of  pearls.  It  always  produces  a  striking  effect 
with  red  hair." 

The  Marechale  burst  out  into  an  exclamation,  deny- 
ing that  she  had  red  hair. 

"  Nonsense !  The  red  of  painters  is  not  that  of  or- 
dinary people." 

He  began  to  sketch  the  position  of  the  masses;  and 
he  was  so  much  preoccupied  with  the  great  artists  of 
the  Renaissance  that  he  kept  talking  about  them  per- 

"  You  were  made  to  live  in  those  days.  A  creature 
of  your  calibre  would  have  deserved  a  monseigneur." 

Rosanette  thought  the  compliments  he  paid  her  very 
pretty.  The  day  was  fixed  for  the  next  sitting.  Fred- 
erick took  it  on  himself  to  bring  the  accessories. 

As  the  heat  of  the  stove  had  stupefied  her  a  little, 


they  returned  home  on  foot  through  the  Rue  du  Bac, 
and  reached  the  Pont  Royal. 

It  was  fine  weather,  piercingly  bright  and  warm. 
The  windows  of  some  houses  in  the  city  shone  in  the 
distance,  like  plates  of  gold,  whilst  behind  them  at  the 
right  the  turrets  of  Notre  Dame  showed  their  outlines 
in  black  against  the  blue  sky,  softly  bathed  at  the  hori- 
zon in  grey  vapours. 

The  wind  began  to  swell ;  and  Rosanette,  having  de- 
clared that  she  felt  hungry,  they  entered  the  "  Patis- 
serie Anglaise." 

Young  women  with  their  children  stood  eating  in 
front  of  the  marble  buffet,  where  plates  of  little  cakes 
were  under  glass  covers.  Rosanette  ate  two  cream- 
tarts.  The  powdered  sugar  formed  moustaches  at  the 
sides  of  her  mouth.  From  time  to  time  she  drew  out 
her  handkerchief  from  her  muff,  and  her  face,  under 
her  green  silk  hood,  looked  like  a  full-blown  rose  in 
the  midst  of  its  leaves.  " 

They  resumed  their  walk.  In  the  Rue  de  la  Paix 
she  paused  before  a  goldsmith's  shop  to  look  at  a  brace- 
let. Frederick  immediately  wished  to  make  her  a  pres- 
ent of  it. 

"  No !  "  said  she  ;  "  keep  your  money  !  " 

He  was  hurt  by  these  words. 

"  What's  the  matter  now  with  the  ducky  ?  We  are 
melancholy  ?  " 

And,  the  conversation  having  been  renewed,  he  re- 
peated the  same  protestations  of  love  to  her  as  usual. 

"  You  know  well  'tis  impossible  !  " 


"  Ah !  because— 

They  went  on,  she  leaning  on  his  arm,  and  the 
flounces  of  her  gown  kept  flapping  against  his  legs. 
Then,  he  recalled  to  mind  one  winter  twilight  when  on 


the  same  footpath  Madame  Arnoux  walked  thus  by 
his  side,  and  he  became  so  much  absorbed  in  this  recol- 
lection that  he  no  longer  noticed  Rosanette,  and  did  not 
bestow  a  thought  upon  her. 

She  looked  straight  before  her  in  a  careless  fashion, 
lagging  a  little,  like  a  lazy  child.  It  was  the  hour  when 
people  were  returning  from  their  promenade,  and 
equipages  were  making  their  way  at  a  quick  trot  over 
the  hard  pavement. 

Pellerin's  flatteries  having  probably  recurred  to  her 
mind,  she  heaved  a  sigh. 

"  Ah !  there  are  some  lucky  women  in  the  world. 
Decidedly,  I  was  made  for  a  rich  man !  " 

He  replied,  with  a  certain  brutality  in  his  tone : 

"  Well,  you  have  one !  "  for  Monsieur  Oudry  was 
looked  upon  as  a  man  that  could  count  a  million  three 
times  over. 

She  wished  nothing  better  than  to  get  free  from 

"  What  prevents  you  from  doing  so  ?  "  And  he  gave 
utterance  to  bitter  jests  about  this  old  bewigged  citi- 
zen, pointing  out  to  her  that  such  an  intrigue  was  un- 
worthy of  her,  and  that  she  ought  to  break  it  off. 

"  Yes,"  replied  the  Marechale,  as  if  talking  to  her- 
self. "  Tis  what  I  shall  end  by  doing,  no  doubt !  " 

Frederick  was  charmed  by  this  disinterestedness. 
She  slackened  her  pace,  and  he  suggested  that  she  was 
fatigued.  She  obstinately  refused  to  let  him  take  a 
cab,  and  she  parted  with  him  at  her  door,  sending  him 
a  kiss  with  her  finger-tips. 

"  Ah !  what  a  pity !  and  to  think  that  imbeciles  take 
me  for  a  man  of  wealth ! " 

He  reached  home  in  a  gloomy  frame  of.  mind. 

Hussonnet  and  Deslauriers  were  awaiting  him. 
The  Bohemian,  seated  before  the  table,  made  sketches 


of  Turks'  heads ;  and  the  advocate,  in  dirty  boots,  lay 
asleep  on  the  sofa. 

"  Ha !  at  last,"  he  exclaimed.  "  But  how  solemn  you 
look !  Listen  to  me  !  " 

His  vogue  as  a  tutor  had  fallen  off,  for  he  crammed 
his  pupils  with  theories  unfavourable  for  their  exam- 
inations. He  had  appeared  in  two  or  three  unsuccess- 
ful cases,  and  each  new  disappointment  flung  him  back 
with  greater  force  on  the  dream  of  his  earlier  days — 
a  journal  in  which  he  could  display  himself,  avenge 
himself,  and  spit  forth  his  bile  and  his  opinions.  For- 
tune and  reputation,  moreover,  would  follow  as  a  nec- 
essary consequence.  It  was  in  this  hope  that  he  had 
won  over  the  Bohemian,  Hussonnet  happening  to  be 
the  possessor  of  a  press. 

At  present,  he  printed  it  on  pink  paper.  He  in- 
vented hoaxes,  composed  rebuses,  tried  to  engage  in 
polemics,  and  even  intended,  in  spite  of  the  location  of 
the  premises,  to  get  up  concerts.  A  year's  subscription 
was  to  include  admittance  to  a  place  in  the  orchestra  in 
one  of  the  principal  theatres  of  Paris.  Besides,  the 
board  of  management  took  on  itself  to  furnish  foreign- 
ers with  all  necessary  ability,  artistic  and  otherwise. 
But  the  printer  gave  vent  to  threats ;  there  were  three 
quarters'  rent  due  to  the  landlord.  All  sorts  of  em- 
barrassments arose;  and  Hussonnet  would  have  al- 
lowed L'Art  to  perish,  were  it  not  for  the  exhortations 
of  the  advocate,  who  kept  every  day  exciting  his  mind. 
He  had  brought  the  other  with  him,  in  order  to  give 
more  weight  to  the  proposition  he  was  now  making. 

"  We've  come  about  the  journal,"  said  he. 

"  What !  are  you  still  thinking  about  that  ?  "  said 
Frederick,  in  an  absent  tone. 

"  Certainly,  I  am  thinking  about  it !  " 

And  he  explained  his  plan  anew.     By  means  of  the 


Bourse  returns,  they  would  get  into  communication 
with  financiers,  and  would  thus  obtain  the  hundred 
thousand  francs  indispensable  as  security.  But,  in  or- 
der that  the  print  might  be  transformed  into  a  political 
journal,  it  was  necessary  beforehand  to  have  a  large 
clientele,  and  for  that  purpose  to  make  up  their  minds 
to  go  to  some  expense — so  much  for  the  cost  of  paper 
and  printing,  and  for  outlay  at  the  office ;  in  short,  a 
sum  of  about  fifteen  thousand  francs. 

"  I  have  no  funds,"  said  Frederick. 

"  Then  what  are  we  to  do?  "  said  Deslauriers,  fold- 
ing his  arms. 

Frederick,  hurt  by  the  attitude  which  Deslauriers 
was  assuming,  replied : 

"Is  it  my  fault?" 

"  Ah !  very  fine.  A  man  has  wood  in  his  fire,  truffles 
on  his  table,  a  good  bed,  a  library,  a  carriage,  every 
kind  of  comfort.  But  let  another  man  shiver  under 
the  slates,  dine  at  twenty  sous,  work  like  a  convict, 
and  sprawl  through  want  in  the  mire — is  it  the  rich 
man's  fault  ?  " 

And  he  repeated,  "  Is  it  the  rich  man's  fault  ?  "  with 
a  Ciceronian  irony  which  smacked  of  the  law-courts. 

Frederick  tried  to  speak. 

"  Certainly,  I  understand  one  has  certain  wants — 
aristocratic  wants;  for,  no  doubt,  some  woman " 

"  Well,  even  if  that  were  so?    Am  I  not  free ?  " 

"  Oh !  quite  free !  " 

And,  after  a  minute's  silence : 

"  Promises  are  so  convenient !  " 

"  Good  God !  I  don't  deny  that  I  gave  them !  "  said 

The  advocate  went  on : 

"  At  college  we  take  oaths ;  we  are  going  to  set  up  a 
phalanx ;  we  are  going  to  be  as  Balzac's  Thirteen. 


Then,  on  meeting  a  friend  after  a  separation :  '  Good 
night,  old  fellow  !  go  about  your  business !  '  For  the 
one  who  might  help  the  other  carefully  'keeps  every- 
thing for  himself  alone." 

"  How  is  that?  " 

"  Yes,  you  have  not  even  given  one  an  introduction 
to  the  Dambreuses." 

Frederick  cast  a  scrutinising  glance  at  him.  With 
his  shabby  frock-coat,  his  spectacles  of  rough  glass, 
and  his  sallow  face,  the  advocate  seemed  to  him  such 
a  typical  specimen  of  the  penniless  pedant  that  he 
could  not  prevent  his  lips  from  curling  with  a  disdain- 
ful smile. 

Deslauriers  saw  this,  and  reddened. 

He  had  already  taken  his  hat  to  leave.  Hussonnet, 
filled  with  uneasiness,  tried  to  mollify  him  with  ap- 
pealing looks,  and,  as  Frederick  was  turning  his  back 
on  him  : 

"  Look  here,  my  boy,  become  my  Maecenas !  Pro- 
tect the  arts !  " 

Frederick,  with  an  abrupt  movement  of  resignation, 
took  a  sheet  of  paper,  and,  having  scrawled  some  lines 
on  it,  handed  it  to  him.  The  Bohemian's  face  lighted 

Then,  handing  the  sheet  of  paper  to  Deslauriers: 

"  Apologise,  my  fine  fellow !  " 

Their  friend  requested  his  notary  to  send  him  fifteen 
thousand  francs  as  quickly  as  possible. 

"  Ah !  I  recognise  you  in  that,"  said  Deslauriers. 

"  On  the  faith  of  a  gentleman,"  added  the  Bohemian, 
"  you  are  a  noble  fellow,  you  deserve  a  place  in  the 
gallery  of  useful  men !  " 

The  advocate  remarked : 

"  You'll  lose  nothing  by  it,  'tis  an  excellent  specu- 


"  Faith,"  exclaimed  Hussonnet,  "  I'd  stake  my  head 
at  the  scaffold  on  its  success !  " 

And  he  talked  so  foolishly,  and  promised  so  many 
extravagant  things,  in  which  perhaps  he  believed,  that 
Frederick  did  not  know  whether  he  did  this  in  order 
to  laugh  at  others  or  at  him. 

The  same  evening  he  received  a  letter  from  his 
mother.  She  expressed  astonishment  at  not  seeing  him 
yet  a  minister,  while  indulging  in  a  little  banter  at  his 
expense.  Then  she  spoke  of  her  health,  and  informed 
him  that  Monsieur  Roque  had  now  become  one  of  her 

"  Since  he  is  a  widower,  I  thought  there  would  be 
no  objection  to  inviting  him  to  the  house.  Louise  is 
greatly  changed  for  the  better."  And  in  a  postscript : 
"  You  have  written  me  nothing  about  your  fine  ac- 
quaintance, Monsieur  Dambreuse ;  if  I  were  you,  I 
would  make  use  of  him." 

Why  not?  His  intellectual  ambitions  had  left  him, 
and  his  fortune  (he  saw  it  clearly)  was  insufficient,  for 
when  his  debts  had  been  paid,  and  the  sum  agreed  on 
remitted  to  the  others,  his  income  would  be  diminished 
by  four  thousand  at  least!  Moreover,  he  felt  that  he 
must  give  up  this  sort  of  life,  and  attach  himself  to 
some  pursuit.  So  next  day,  when  dining  at  Madame 
Arnoux's,  he  said  that  his  mother  was  tormenting  him 
to  take  up  a  profession. 

"  But  I  understood,"  she  said,  "  that  Monsieur  Dam- 
breuse was  going  to  get  you  into  the  Council  of  State  ? 
That  would  suit  you  very  well." 

So,  then,  she  desired  him  to  take  this  course.  He 
regarded  her  wish  as  a  command. 

The  banker,  as  on  the  first  occasion,  was  seated  at 
his  desk,  and,  with  a  gesture,  intimated  that  Frederick 
was  to  wait  a  few  minutes ;  for  a  gentleman  who  was 


standing  at  the  door  with  his  back  turned  had  been  dis- 
cussing some  serious  topic  with  him. 

The  subject  of  their  conversation  was  the  proposed 
amalgamation  of  the  different  coal-mining  companies. 

Frederick  noticed  particularly  two  chests  of  pro- 
digious size  which  stood  in  the  corners.  He  wondered 
how  many  millions  they  might  contain.  The  banker 
unlocked  one  of  them,  and  as  the  iron  plate  swung 
back,  it  disclosed  to  view  nothing  inside  but  blue 
paper  books  full  of  entries. 

At  last,  the  person  who  had  been  talking  to  Monsieur 
Dambreuse  passed  in  front  of  Frederick.  It  was  Pere 
Oudry.  They  saluted  each  other,  their  faces  colour- 
ing— a  circumstance  which  surprised  Monsieur  Dam- 
breuse. However,  he  exhibited  the  utmost  affability, 
observing  that  nothing  would  be  easier  than  to  recom- 
mend the  young  man  to  the  Keeper  of  the  Seals.  They 
would  be  delighted  to  have  him,  he  added,  concluding 
his  polite  attentions  by  inviting  him  to  an  evening 
party  which  he  would  be  giving  in  a  few  days. 

Frederick  was  stepping  into  a  brougham  on  his  way 
to  this  party  when  a  note  from  the  Marechale  reached 
him.  By  the  light  of  the  carriage-lamps  he  read : 

"  Darling,  I  have  followed  your  advice:  I  have  just 
expelled  my  savage.  After  to-morrow  evening,  liberty ! 
Say  whether  I  have  not  courage !  " 

Nothing  more.  But  it  was  clearly  an  invitation  to 
him  to  take  the  vacant  place.  He  uttered  an  exclama- 
tion, squeezed  the  note  into  his  pocket,  and  set  forth 
at  once. 

Two  municipal  guards  on  horseback  were  stationed 
in  the  street.  A  row  of  lamps  burned  on  the  two  front 
gates,  and  servants  were  calling  out  in  the  courtyard 
for  the  carriages  to  come  up  to  the  end  of  the  steps  be- 
fore the  house  under  the  marquee. 


Then  suddenly  the  noise  in  the  handsome  vestibule 

Large  trees  filled  up  the  space  in  front  of  the  stair- 
case. The  porcelain  globes  shed  a  light  which  waved 
like  white  moire  satin  on  the  walls. 

Frederick  ascended  the  steps  in  a  joyous  frame  of 
mind.  An  usher  announced  his  name.  Monsieur  Dam- 
breuse  extended  his  hand.  Almost  at  the  very  same 
moment,  Madame  Dambreuse  appeared.  She  wore  a 
mauve  dress  trimmed  with  lace.  The  ringlets  of  her 
hair  were  more  abundant  than  usual,  and  she  wore 
not  a  single  jewel. 

She  complained  of  his  coming  so  seldom  to  visit 
them,  and  seized  the  opportunity  to  exchange  a  few 
confidential  words  with  him. 

The  guests  began  to  arrive.  When  they  bowed  they 
twisted  their  bodies  on  one  side  or  bent  in  two,  or 
merely  lowered  their  heads  a  little. 

The  crowd  of  men  who  were  standing  with  their 
hats  in  their  hands  seemed,  at  some  distance,  like  one 
black  mass,  into  which  the  ribbons  in  the  button-holes 
introduced  red  points  here  and  there,  and  rendered  all 
the  duller  the  monotonous  whiteness  of  their  cravats. 
With  the  exception  of  the  very  young  men  with  the 
down  on  their  faces,  all  appeared  to  be  bored. 

A  large  number  of  men-servants,  with  fine  gold- 
laced  livery,  kept  moving  about  on  every  side.  The 
large  branched  candlesticks,  like  bouquets  of  flame, 
threw  a  glow  over  the  hangings.  They  were  reflected 
in  the  mirrors ;  and  at  the  bottom  of  the  dining-room, 
which  was  adorned  with  trailing  jessamine,  the  side- 
board resembled  the  high  altar  of  a  cathedral  or  an 
exhibition  of  jewellery,  there  were  so  many  dishes, 
bells,  knives  and  forks,  silver  and  silver-gilt  spoons. 

The   three   other   reception-rooms   overflowed    with 


artistic  objects — landscapes  by  great  masters  on  the 
walls,  ivory  and  porcelain  at  the  sides  of  the  tables, 
and  Chinese  ornaments  on  the  brackets.  Lacquered 
screens  were  displayed  in  front  of  the  windows,  clus- 
ters of  camelias  rose  above  the  mantel-shelves,  and 
music  could  be  heard  in  the  distance,  like  the  humming 
of  bees. 

There  were  few  quadrilles,  and  the  dancers,  judging 
by  the  indifferent  fashion  in  which  they  dragged  their 
pumps  after  them,  seemed  to  be  going  through  the 
performance  of  a  duty. 

Behind  Frederick,  three  greybeards,  who  had  placed 
themselves  in  the  recess  of  a  window,  were  whisper- 
ing some  risque  remarks.  A  sportsman  told  a  hunt- 
ing story,  while  a  Legitimist  carried  on  an  argument 
with  an  Orleanist.  And,  wandering  about  from  one 
group  to  another,  he  reached  the  card-room,  where, 
in  the  midst  of  grave-looking  men  gathered  in  a 
circle,  he  recognised  Martinon,  now  attached  to  the 
Bar  of  the  capital. 

His  big  face  with  its  waxen  complexion,  filled  up 
the  space  encircled  by  his  collar-like  beard,  which  was 
a  marvel  with  its  even  surface  of  black  hair ;  and,  ob- 
serving the  golden  mean  between  the  elegance  which 
his  age  might  yearn  for  and  the  dignity  which  his 
profession  exacted  from  him,  he  kept  his  thumbs 
stuck  under  the  armpits,  according  to  the  custom  of 
beaux,  and  then  put  his  hands  into  his  waistcoat 
pockets  after  the  manner  of  learned  personages. 
Though  his  boots  were  polished  to  excess,  he  kept 
his  temples  shaved  in  order  to  have  the  forehead  of 
a  thinker. 

After  he  had  addressed  a  few  chilling  words  to 
Frederick,  he  turned  once  more  toward  those  who 
were  chatting  around  him.  A  landowner  was  say- 


ing:  "This  is  a  class  of  men  that  dreams  of  upset- 
ting society." 

"  They  are  calling  for  the  organisation  of  labour," 
said  another :  "  Can  this  be  conceived  ?  " 

"  What  could  you  expect,"  said  a  third,  "  when 
we  see  M.  de  Genoude  giving  his  assistance  to  the 
Siecle?  " 

"  And  even  Conservatives  style  themselves  Pro- 
gressives. To  lead  us  to  what  ?  To  the  Republic ! 
as  if  such  a  thing  were  possible  in  France ! " 

Everyone  declared  that  the  Republic  was  impos- 
sible in  France. 

"  No  matter !  "  remarked  one  gentleman  in  a  loud 
tone.  "  People  take  too  much  interest  in  the  Revolu- 
tion. A  heap  of  histories,  of  different  kinds  of  works, 
are  published  concerning  it !  " 

"  Without  taking  into  account,"  said  Martinon, 
"  that  there  are  probably  subjects  of  far  more  im- 
portance which  might  be  studied." 

A  gentleman  occupying  a  minsterial  office  laid  the 
blame  on  the  scandals  associated  with  the  stage: 

''  Thus,  for  instance,  this  new  drama  of  La  Reinc 
Margot  really  goes  beyond  the  proper  limits.  What 
need  was  there  for  telling  us  about  the  Valois?  All 
this  exhibits  loyalty  in  an  unfavourable  light.  'Tis 
just  like  your  press !  There  is  no  use  in  talking,  the 
September  laws  are  altogether  too  mild.  For  my 
part,  I  would  like  to  have  court-martials,  to  gag  the 
journalists!  At  the  slightest  display  of  insolence, 
drag  them  before  a  council  of  war,  and  then  make  an 
end  of  the  business!" 

"  Oh,  take  care,  Monsieur !  take  care !  "  said  a  pro- 
fessor. "  Don't  attack  the  precious  boons  we  gained 
in  1830 !  Respect  our  liberties !  "  It  would  be  better 
he  contended,  to  adopt  a  policy  of  decentralisation, 


and  to  distribute  the  surplus  populations  of  the  towns 
through  the  country  districts. 

"  But  they  are  gangrened !  "  exclaimed  a  Catholic. 
"  Let  religion  be  more  firmly  established !  " 

Martinon  hastened  to  observe: 

"  As  a  matter  of  fact,  it  is  a  restraining  force." 

All  the  evil  lay  in  this  modern  longing  to  rise  above 
one's  class  and  to  possess  luxuries. 

"  However,"  urged  a  manufacturer,  "  luxury  aids 
commerce.  Therefore,  I  approve  of  the  Due  de  Ne- 
mours' action  in  insisting  on  having  short  breeches  at 
his  evening  parties." 

"  M.  Thiers  came  to  one  of  them  in  a  pair  of  trou- 
sers. You  know  his  joke  on  the  subject?" 

"  Yes ;  charming !  But  he  turned  round  to  the 
demagogues,  and  his  speech  on  the  question  of  in- 
compatibilities was  not  without  its  influence  in  bring- 
ing about  the  attempt  of  the  twelfth  of  May." 

"  Oh,  pooh !  " 

"Ay,  ay!" 

The  circle  had  to  make  a  little  opening  to  give  a 
passage  to  a  man-servant  carrying  a  tray,  who  was 
trying  to  make  his  way  into  the  card-room. 

Under  the  green  shades  of  the  wax-lights  the  tables 
were  covered  with  two  rows  of  cards  and  gold  coins. 
Frederick  stopped  at  one  corner  of  the  table,  lost  the 
fifteen  napoleons  which  he  had  in  his  pocket,  whirled 
lightly  about,  and  found  himself  on  the  threshold  of 
the  boudoir  in  which  Madame  Dambreuse  happened  to 
be  at  the  moment. 

It  was  filled  with  women  sitting  close  to  one  another 
in  little  groups  on  seats  without  backs.  Their  long 
skirts,  swelling  round  them,  seemed  like  waves,  from 
which  their  waists  emerged ;  and  their  breasts  were 
clearly  outlined  by  the  slope  of  their  corsages.  Nearly 


every  one  had  a  bouquet  of  violets  in  her  hand.  The 
dull  shades  of  their  gloves  showed  off  the  whiteness 
of  their  arms,  which  formed  a  contrast  with  the  human 
flesh  tints.  Over  the  shoulders  of  some  of  them  hung 
fringe  or  mourning-weeds,  and,  every  now  and  then, 
as  they  quivered  with  emotion,  it  seemed  as  if  their 
bodices  were  about  to  fall  down. 

But  the  decorum  of  their  countenances  tempered  the 
exciting  effect  of  their  costumes.  Several  had  a  placid- 
ity almost  like  that  of  animals ;  and  this  resemblance 
to  the  brute  creation  in  these  half-nude  women  made 
him  think  of  the  interior  of  a  harem — indeed,  a  grosser 
comparison  suggested  itself  to  the  young  man's  mind. 

Every  variety  of  beauty  was  to  be  found  there — 
some  English  ladies  with  the  profile  familiar  in 
"  keepsakes  " ;  an  Italian,  whose  .black  eyes  shot  forth 
lava-like  flashes,  like  a  Vesuvius ;  three  sisters,  dressed 
in  blue ;  three  Normans,  fresh  as  April  apples ;  a  tall 
red-haired  girl,  with  a  set  of  amethysts.  And  the 
bright  scintillation  of  diamonds,  which  trembled  in 
aigrettes  worn  over  their  hair,  the  luminous  spots  of 
precious  stones  laid  over  their  breasts,  and  the  de- 
lightful radiance  of  pearls  which  adorned  their  fore- 
heads, mingled  with  the  glitter  of  gold  rings,  as  well 
as  with  the  lace,  powder,  feathers,  the  vermilion  of 
dainty  mouths,  and  the  mother-of-pearl  hue  of  teeth. 
The  ceiling,  rounded  like  a  cupola,  gave  to  the 
boudoir  the  form  of  a  flower-basket,  and  a  current  of 
perfumed  air  circulated  under  the  flapping  of  frns. 

Frederick,  standing  behind  them,  put  up  his  eye- 
glass and  scanned  their  shoulders,  not  all  of  which  did 
he  consider  irreproachable.  He  thought  about  the  Ma- 
rechale,  and  this  dispelled  the  temptations  that  beset 
him  or  consoled  him  for  not  yielding  to  them. 

He  gazed  long,  however,  at  Madame  Dambreuse, 


and  he  considered  her  charming,  in  spite  of  her  mouth 
being  rather  large  and  her  nostrils  too  dilated.  But 
she  was  remarkably  graceful  in  appearance.  There 
was,  as  it  were,  an  expression  of  passionate  languor  in 
the  ringlets  of  her  hair,  and  her  forehead,  which  was 
like  agate,  seemed  to  cover  a  great  deal,  and  to  indi- 
cate a  masterful  intelligence. 

She  had  placed  beside  her  her  husband's  niece,  a 
rather  plain-looking  young  person.  From  time  to 
time  she  left  her  seat  to  receive  those  who  had  just 
arrived ;  and  the  murmur  of  feminine  voices,  made,  as 
it  were,  a  cackling  like  that  of  birds. 

They  were  talking  about  the  Tunisian  ambassadors 
and  their  costumes.  One  lady  had  been  present  at 
the  last  reception  of  the  Academy.  Another  referred 
to  the  Don  Juan  of  Moliere,  which  had  recently  been 
performed  at  the  Theatre  Frangais. 

But  with  a  significant  glance  toward  her  niece,  Ma- 
dame Dambreuse  laid  a  finger  on  her  lips,  while  her 
smile  contradicted  this  display  of  austerity. 

Suddenly,  Martinon,  who  was  now  attached  to  the 
Bar  of  the  Capital,  appeared  at  the  door  directly  in 
front  of  her.  She  arose  at  once.  He  offered  her  his 
arm.  Frederick,  in  order  to  watch  the  progress  of 
these  gallantries  on  Martinon's  part,  walked  past  the 
card-table,  and  came  up  with  them  in  the  large  draw- 
ing-room. Madame  Dambreuse  very  soon  left  her 
cavalier,  and  began  chatting  with  Frederick  himself 
in  a  very  familiar  tone. 

She  understood  that  he  did  not  play  cards,  and  did 
not  dance. 

"  Young  people  are  apt  to  be  melancholy !  "  Then, 
with  a  single  comprehensive  glance  around : 

"  Besides,  this  sort  of  thing  is  not  amusing — at 
least  to  certain  natures !  " 


And  she  drew  up  in  front  of  the  row  of  armchairs, 
uttering  a  few  polite  remarks  here  and  there,  while 
some  old  men  with  double  eyeglasses  came  to  pay  court 
to  her.  •  She  introduced  Frederick  to  some  of  them. 
M.  Dambreuse  touched  him  lightly  on  the  elbow,  and 
led  him  out  on  the  terrace. 

He  had  seen  the  Minister.  The  thing  was  not  easy 
to  manage.  Before  he  could  be  qualified  for  the  post 
of  auditor  to  the  Council  of  State,  he  would  have  to 
pass  an  examination.  Frederick,  seized  with  an  unac- 
countable self-confidence,  replied  that  he  had  a  knowl- 
edge of  the  subjects  prescribed  for  it. 

The  financier  was  not  surprised  at  this,  after  all  the 
eulogies  M.  Roque  had  pronounced  on  his  abilities. 

At  the  mention  of  this  name,  a  vision  of  little  Louise, 
her  house  and  her  room,  passed  through  his  mind,  and 
he  remembered  how  he  had  on  nights  like  this  stood  at 
her  window  listening  to  the  waggoners  driving  past. 
This  recollection  of  his  griefs  brought  back  the  thought 
of  Madame  Arnoux,  and  he  relapsed  into  silence  as 
he  paced  up  and  down  the  terrace.  The  windows 
blazed  amid  the  darkness  like  slabs  of  flame.  The  buzz 
of  the  ball  gradually  grew  fainter;  the  carriages  were 
beginning  to  leave. 

"  Why  in  the  world,"  M.  Dambreuse  went  on,  "  are 
you  so  extremely  anxious  to  be  attached  to  the  Council 
of  State?" 

And  he  declared  in  the  tone  of  a  man  of  broad  views, 
that  the  public  functions  led  nowhere — he  could  speak 
with  some  authority  on  that  point — business  was  much 

Frederick  urged  as  an  objection  the  difficulty  of 
grappling  with  all  the  details  of  business. 

"  Pooh !  I  could  post  you  up  well  in  them  in  a  very 
short  time." 


Would  he  care  to  be  a  partner  in  any  of  his  own 
undertakings  ? 

The  young  man  saw,  as  by  a  lightning-flash,  an  enor- 
mous fortune  coming  into  his  hands. 

"  Let  us  go  in  again,"  said  the  banker.  "  You  are 
remaining  for  supper  with  us,  are  you  not  ?  " 

It  was  three  o'clock.     They  left  the  terrace. 

In  the  dining-room,  a  table  at  which  supper  was 
served  up  awaited  the  guests. 

M.  Dambreuse  perceived  Martinon,  and,  drawing 
near  his  wife,  in  a  low  tone : 

"  Did  you  invite  him  ?  " 

She  answered  dryly : 

"  Yes,  of  course." 

The  niece  was  not  present. 

The  guests  drank  a  quantity  of  wine,  and  laughed 
very  loudly ;  risky  jokes  did  not  give  any  offence,  all 
present  experiencing  that  sense  of  relief  which  follows 
a  somewhat  prolonged  period  of  constraint. 

Martinon  alone  displayed  anything  like  gravity. 
Thinking  it  good  form,  he  refused  to  drink  champagne, 
and,  moreover,  assumed  an  air  of  tact  and  politeness, 
for  when  M.  Dambreuse,  who  had  a  contracted  chest, 
complained  of  an  oppression,  he  made  repeated  en- 
quiries about  that  gentleman's  health,  and  then  let  his 
blue  eyes  wander  in  the  direction  of  Madame  Dam- 

She  questioned  Frederick  in  order  to  find  out  which 
of  the  young  ladies  he  liked  best.  He  had  noticed  none 
of  them  in  particular,  and  besides,  he  preferred  the 
women  of  thirty. 

"  There,  perhaps,  you  show  good  sense,"  she  re- 

Then,  as  they  were  putting  on  their  pelisses  and 
paletots,  M.  Dambreuse  said  to  him : 


"  Come  and  see  me  one  of  these  mornings  and  we'll 
have  a  chat." 

Martinon,  at  the  foot  of  the  stairs,  was  lighting  a 
cigar,  and,  as  he  puffed  it,  he  presented  such  a  heavy 
profile  that  his  companion  could  not  help  remarking: 

"  Upon  my  word,  you  have  a  fine  head !  " 

"  It  has  turned  a  few  other  heads,"  replied  the  young 
magistrate,  with  an  air  of  mingled  self-complacency 
and  annoyance. 

As  soon  as  Frederick  was  in  bed,  he  summed  up 
the  main  features  of  the  evening  party.  In  the  first 
place,  his  own  toilet  (he  had  looked  at  himself  several 
times  in  the  mirrors),  from  the  cut  of  his  coat  to  the 
knot  of  his  pumps  left  nothing  to  be  desired.  He  had 
spoken  to  influential  men,  and  seen  wealthy  ladies  at 
close  quarters.  M.  Dambreuse  had  proved  himself 
to  be  an  admirable  type  of  man,  and  Madame  Dam- 
breuse an  almost  bewitching  type  of  woman.  He 
weighed  one  by  one  her  slightest  words,  her  looks,  a 
thousand  things  incapable  of  being  analysed.  It  would 
be  a  splendid  thing  to  have  such  a  mistress.  And, 
after  all,  why  not?  He  would  have  as  good  a  chance 
with  her  as  any  other  man.  Perhaps  she  was  not  so 
difficult  to  win?  Then  Martinon  came  back  to  his 
recollection ;  and,  as  he  fell  asleep,  he  smiled  with  pity 
for  this  worthy  fellow. 

He  woke  up  with  the  thought  of  the  Marechale  in 
his  mind.  Those  words  of  her  note,  "  After  to-morrow 
evening,"  were  without  doubt  an  appointment  for  the 
very  same  day. 

He  waited  until  nine  o'clock,  and  then  hurried  to 
her  house. 

Some  one,  going  up  the  stairs  before  him,  shut  the 
door.  He  rang  the  bell ;  Delphine  came  and  told  him 
that  "  Madame  "  was  not  there. 


Frederick  persisted,  begging  of  her  to  admit  him. 
lie  had  something  of  a  very  serious  nature  to  com- 
municate to  her ;  only  a  word  would  suffice.  At  length, 
the  hundred-sous-piece  argument  proved  successful, 
and  the  maid  let  him  into  the  anteroom. 

Rosanette  appeared.  She  was  in  a  negligee,  with 
her  hair  loose,  and,  shaking  her  head,  she  waved  her 
arms  when  she  was  some  paces  away  from  him  to 
indicate  that  she  could  not  receive  him  then. 

Frederick  descended  the  stairs  slowly.  This  ca- 
price was  worse  than  any  of  the  others  she  had  in- 
dulged in.  He  could  not  understand  the  situation  at 

In  front  of  the  porter's  lodge  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz 
stopped  him. 

"  Has  she  received  you?  " 

"  No." 

"  You've  been  put  out?  " 

"  How  do  you  know  that  ?  " 

"  Tis  quite  plain.  But  come ;  let  us  go  away.  I  am 
suffocating !  " 

She  made  him  accompany  her  along  the  street;  she 
panted  for  breath ;  he  could  feel  her  thin  arm  trem- 
bling on  his  own.  Suddenly,  she  broke  out : 

"  Ah  !  the  wretch  !  " 

"  Who,  pray  ?  " 

"  Why,  he— he— Delmar !  " 

This  revelation  humiliated  Frederick.  He  next 
asked : 

"  Are  you  quite  sure  of  it?  " 

"  Why,  I  tell  you  I  followed  him !  "  exclaimed  the 
Vatnaz.  "  I  saw  him  enter!  Now  do  you  understand? 
I  ought  to  have  expected  it  for  that  matter — 'twas  I, 
in  my  stupidity,  that  introduced  him  to  her.  And  if 
you  only  knew  all — my  God !  Why,  I  picked  him  up, 


supported  him,  clothed  him !  And  then  all  the  para- 
graphs I  got  into  the  newspapers  about  him!  I  loved 
him  like  a  mother !  " 

Then,  with  a  sneer: 

"  Ha !  Monsieur  craves  velvet  robes !  You  may 
be  sure  'tis  a  speculation  on  his  part.  And  as  for  her ! 
— to  think  that  I  knew  her  when  she  earned  her  liv- 
ing as  a  seamstress !  If  it  were  not  for  me,  she  would 
have  fallen  into  the  mire  twenty  times  over?  But  I 
will  plunge  her  into  it  yet !  I'll  see  her  dying  "in  a 
hospital — and  everything  about  her  will  be  known !  " 

And,  like  a  torrent  of  dirty  water  from  a  vessel  full 
of  refuse,  her  rage  poured  out  in  a  tumultuous  fashion 
into  Frederick's  ear  the  recital  of  her  rival's  disgrace- 
ful acts. 

"  She  lived  with  Jumillac,  with  Flacourt,  with  little 
Allard,  with  Bertinaux,  with  Saint- Valery,  the  pock- 
marked fellow !  No,  'twas  the  other !  They  are  two 
brothers — it  makes  no  difference.  And  when  she  was 
in  difficulties,  I  settled  everything.  She  is  avaricious ! 
And  then,  you  will  agree  with  me,  'twas  generous  of 
me  to  visit  her,  for  we  are  not  persons  of  the  same 
grade!  Am  I  a  fast  woman — I?  Do  I  sell  myself? 
She  is  as  stupid  as  a  head  of  cabbage.  She  writes 
'  category  '  with  a  '  th.'  After  all,  they  are  well  met. 
They  make  a  precious  couple,  though  he  styles  him- 
self an  artist  and  thinks  himself  a  man  of  genius.  But, 
my  God !  if  he  had  only  intelligence,  he  would  not 
have  done  such  an  infamous  thing !  Men  don't,  as  a 
rule,  leave  a  superior  woman  for  a  hussy !  What  do 
I  care  about  him  after  all?  He  is  becoming  ugly.  I 
hate  him !  If  I  met  him,  mind  you,  I'd  spit  in  his  face." 
She  spat  out  as  she  uttered  the  words.  "  Yes,  that  is 
what  I  think  about  him  now.  And  Arnoux,  eh  ?  Isn't 
it  abominable?  He  has  forgiven  her  again  and  again. 


You  can't  conceive  the  sacrifices  he  has  made  for  her. 
She  ought  to  kiss  his  feet!  He  is  so  generous,  so 
good !  " 

Frederick  was  delighted  at  hearing  Delmar  dispar- 
aged. He  had  taken  sides  with  Arnoux.  This  perfidy 
on  Rosanette's  part  seemed  to  him  an  abnormal  and 
inexcusable  thing;  and,  infected  with  this  elderly  spin- 
ster's emotion,  he  felt  a  sort  of  tenderness  toward  her. 
Suddenly  he  found  himself  in  front  of  Arnoux's  door. 
Mademoiselle  Vatnaz,  without  his  having  noticed  it, 
had  led  him  down  toward  the  Rue  Poissonniere. 

"  Here  we  are !  "  said  she.  "  As  for  me,  I  can't  go 
up ;  but  you,  surely  there  is  nothing  to  prevent  you  ? 

"  From  doing  what  ?  " 

"  From  telling  him  everything,  of  course !  " 

Frederick,  as  if  waking  up  with  a  start,  saw  the  base- 
ness towards  which  she  was  urging  him. 

"  Well  ?  "  she  said  after  a  pause. 

He  raised  his  eyes  towards  the  second  floor.  Ma- 
dame Arnoux's  lamp  was  burning.  There  was,  cer- 
tainly, nothing  to  prevent  him  from  going  up. 

"  I  shall  wait  for  you  here.    Go  on,  then !  " 

This  direction  had  the  effect  of  chilling  him,  and 
he  said: 

"  I  shall  be  a  long  time ;  you  would  do  better  to 
return  home.  I  will  call  on  you  to-morrow." 

"  No,  no !  "  replied  the  Vatnaz,  stamping  with  her 
foot.  "  Take  him  with  you !  Bring  him  there !  Let 
him  catch  them  together !  " 

"  But  Delmar  will  no  longer  be  there." 

She  hung  down  her  head. 

"  Yes ;  that's  true,  perhaps." 

And  she  stood  without  speaking,  in  the  middle  of 
the  street,  with  vehicles  all  around  her;  then,  fixing 
on  him  her  wild-cat's  eyes: 


"  I  may  rely  on  you,  may  I  not?  There  is  now  a 
sacred  bond  between  us.  Do  what  you  say,  then ; 
we'll  talk  about  it  to-morrow." 

Frederick  in  passing  through  the  lobby  heard  two 
voices  responding  to  one  another. 

Madame  Arnoux's  voice  was  saying: 

"Don't  lie!  don't  lie,  pray!" 

He  entered.     The  voices  suddenly  ceased. 

Arnoux  was  walking  from  one  end  of  the  apart- 
ment tc  the  other,  and  Madame  was  seated  on  the  little 
chair  near  the  fire,  extremely  pale  and  staring  straight 
before  her.  Frederick  stepped  back,  and  was  about 
to  retire,  when  Arnoux  grasped  his  hand,  glad  that 
some  one  had  come  to  his  rescue. 

"  But  I  fear —     "  said  Frederick. 

"  Stay,  I  beg  of  you !  "  he  whispered  in  his  ear. 

Madame  remarked : 

"  You  must  make  some  allowance  for  this  scene, 
Monsieur  Moreau.  Such  things  sometimes  unfor- 
tunately occur  in  households." 

"  They  do  when  we  introduce  them  there  ourselves," 
said  Arnoux  in  a  jolly  tone.  "  Women  have  crotchets, 
I  assure  you.  This,  for  instance,  is  not  a  bad  one — see ! 
No ;  quite  the  contrary.  Well,  she  has  been  amusing 
herself  for  the  last  hour  by  teasing  me  with  a  lot  of 
idle  stories." 

"  They  are  true,"  retorted  Madame  Arnoux,  losing 
patience;  "for,  in  fact,  you  bought  it  yourself." 


"  Yes,  you  yourself,  at  the  Persian  House." 

''  The  cashmere,"  thought  Frederick. 

He  was  filled  with  a  consciousness  of  guilt,  and 
got  quite  alarmed. 

She  quickly  added : 

"  It  was  on  Saturdav,  the  fourteenth." 


"  The  fourteenth,"  said  Arnoux,  looking  up,  as  if 
he  were  searching  his  mind  for  a  date. 

"  And,  furthermore,  the  clerk  who  sold  it  to  you 
was  a  fair-haired  young  man." 

"  How  could  you  expect  me  to  remember  what  sort 
of  man  the  clerk  was?  " 

"  And  yet  it  was  at  your  dictation  he  wrote  the  ad- 
dress, 18  Rue  de  Laval." 

"  How  do  you  know  ?  "  said  Arnoux  in  amazement. 

She  shrugged  her  shoulders. 

"  Oh !  tis  very  simple :  I  went  to  get  my  cashmere 
altered,  and  the  superintendent  of  the  millinery  de- 
partment told  me  that  they  had  just  sent  another  of 
the  same  sort  to  Madame  Arnoux." 

"  Is  it  my  fault  if  there  is  a  Madame  Arnoux  in  the 
same  street  ?  " 

"  Yes ;  but  not  Jacques  Arnoux,"  she  returned. 

Thereupon  he  began  to  talk  incoherently,  protest- 
ing that  he  was  innocent.  It  was  some  misapprehen- 
sion, some  accident,  one  of  those  things  that  happen 
in  an  utterly  unaccountable  way.  Men  should  not  be 
condemned  on  mere  suspicion,  vague  probabilities ;  and 
he  referred  to  the  case  of  the  unfortunate  Lesurques. 

"  In  short,  I  say  you  are  wrong.  Do  you  want  me 
to  take  my  oath  on  it  ?  " 

"  'Tis  not  worth  while," 

"  Why  ?  " 

She  looked  him  straight  in  the  face  without  speak- 
ing, then  stretched  out  her  hand,  took  down  the  little 
silver  chest  from  the  mantelpiece,  and  handed  him 
a  bill  which  was  spread  open. 

Arnoux  coloured  up  to  his  ears,  and  his  swollen  and 
distorted  features  betrayed  his  confusion. 

"  But,"  he  said  in  faltering  tones,  "  what  does  this 
prove  ?  " 


"  Ah !  "  she  said,  with  a  peculiar  ring  in  her  voice, 
in  which  sorrow  and  irony  were  blended.  "  Ah !  " 

Arnoux  turned  the  bill  round  in  his  hands  without 
removing  his  eyes  from  it,  as  if  he  were  going  to  find 
in  it  the  solution  of  a  great  problem. 

"  Ah !  yes,  yes ;  I  remember,"  said  he  at  length. 
*'  'Twas  a  commission.  You  ought  to  know  about  that 
matter,  Frederick."  Frederick  remained  silent.  "  A 
commission  that  Pere  Oudry  entrusted  to  me." 

"  And  for  whom  ?  " 

"  For  his  mistress." 

"  For  your  own !  "  exclaimed  Madame  Arnoux, 
springing  to  her  feet  and  standing  erect  before  him. 

"  I  swear  to  you  !  " 

"  Don't  begin  again.     I  know  all." 

"  Ha  !  quite  right.     So  you're  spying  on  me !  " 

She  returned  coldly : 

"  Perhaps  that  wounds  your  delicacy  ?  " 

"  Since  you  are  in  a  passion,"  said  Arnoux,  look- 
ing for  his  hat,  "  and  can't  be  reasoned  with " 

Then,  with  a  big  sigh : 

"  Don't  marry,  my  poor  friend,  don't,  if  you  take 
my  advice !  " 

And  he  took  himself  off,  finding  it  absolutely  neces- 
sary to  get  into  the  open  air. 

Then  there  was  a  deep  silence,  and  it  seemed  as  if 
everything  in  the  room  had  become  stiller  than  before. 

Madame  Arnoux  had  just  seated  herself  in  the  arm- 
chair at  the  opposite  side  of  the  chimney-piece.  She 
bit  her  lip  and  shivered.  Putting  her  hands  up  to  her 
face,  a  sob  broke  from  her,  and  she  began  to  weep. 

He  sat  down  on  the  little  couch,  and  in  the  soothing 
tone  in  which  one  addresses  a  sick  person: 

"  You  don't  suspect  me  of  having  anything  to  do 
with ?" 


She  made  no  reply.  But,  continuing  presently  to 
give  utterance  to  her  own  thoughts : 

"  I  leave  him  perfectly  free !  There  was  no  necessity 
for  lying !  " 

"  That  is  quite  true,"  said  Frederick.  "  No  doubt," 
he  added,  "  it  was  the  result  of  Arnoux's  habits ;  he 
had  acted  thoughtlessly,  but  perhaps  in  matters  of  a 
graver  character " 

"  What  do  you  know  of,  then,  that  can  be  graver?  " 

"  Oh,  nothing !  " 

Frederick  bent  his  head  with  a  smile  of  acquiescence. 
Nevertheless,  he  urged,  Arnoux  possessed  certain  good 
qualities ;  he  was  fond  of  his  children. 

"  Ay,  and  he  does  all  he  can  to  ruin  them !  " 

Frederick  urged  that  this  was  caused  by  an  excess- 
ively easy-going  disposition,  for  indeed  he  was  a  good 
fellow  ? 

She  exclaimed : 

"  But  what  does  that  mean — a  good  fellow !  " 

And  he  proceeded  to  defend  Arnoux  in  the  vaguest 
kind  of  language  he  could  think  of,  and,  while  express- 
ing his  sympathy  with  her,  he  rejoiced,  he  was  de- 
lighted, at  the  bottom  of  his  heart.  Through  desire 
for  retaliation  or  need  of  affection  she  would  fly  to 
him  for  refuge.  His  love  was  intensified  by  the  hope 
which  had  now  grown  immeasurably  stronger  in  his 

Never  had  she  appeared  to  him  so  captivating,  so 
absolutely,  perfectly  beautiful.  From  time  to  time  a 
deep  breath  made  her  bosom  swell.  Her  eyes,  gazing 
fixedly  into  space,  seemed  dilated  by  a  vision  in  the 
depths  of  her  consciousness,  and  her  lips  were  slightly 
parted,  as  if  to  let  her  soul  escape  through  them. 
Sometimes  she  pressed  her  handkerchief  to  them 
tightly.  He  would  have  liked  to  be  this  dainty  little 


piece  of  cambric  moistened  with  her  tears.  In  spite 
of  himself,  he  cast  a  glance  at  the  bed  at  the  end  of 
the  alcove,  picturing  to  himself  her  head  lying  on  the 
pillow,  and  so  vividly  did  this  present  itself  to  his 
imagination  that  he  had  to  restrain  himself  from  clasp- 
ing her  in  his  arms.  She  closed  her  eyelids,  and  be- 
came quiescent  and  languid.  Then  he  drew  closer, 
and,  bending  over  her,  he  eagerly  scanned  her  face. 
At  that  moment,  he  heard  the  noise  of  boots  in  the 
lobby  outside — it  was  the  other.  They  heard  him 
shutting  the  door  of  his  own  room.  Frederick  made 
a  sign  to  Madame  Arnoux  to  ascertain  from  her 
whether  he  ought  to  go  to  him. 

She  signified  "  Yes,"  in  the  same  voiceless  fashion, 
and  this  mute  exchange  of  thoughts  between  them 
was,  as  it  were,  an  assent — the  preliminary  step  in 

Arnoux  was  just  removing  his  coat  to  go  to  bed. 

"  Well,  how  is  she  now  ?  " 

"  Oh !  better,"  said  Frederick ;  "  this  will  pass  off.': 

But  Arnoux  was  in  an  anxious  state  of  mind. 

"  You  don't  know  her ;  she  has  got  hysterical  now ! 
Idiot  of  a  clerk !  This  is  what  comes  of  being  too 
good.  If  I  had  not  given  that  cursed  shawl  to  Rosa- 
nette !  " 

"  Don't  regret  having  done  so.  Nobody  could  be 
more  grateful  to  you  than  she  is." 

"  Do  you  really  think  so  ?  " 

Frederick  had  not  a  doubt  of  it.  The  best  proof 
of  it  was  her  dismissal  of  Pere  Oudry. 

"  Ah  !  poor  little  thing !  " 

And  in  the  excess  of  his  emotion,  Arnoux  wanted 
to  rush  off  to  her  at  once. 

;  'Tisn't  worth  while.    I  am  calling  to  see  her.    She 
is  not  well." 


"  All  the  more  reason  for  my  going." 

He  quickly  put  on  his  coat  again,  and  took  up  his 
candlestick.  Frederick  cursed  his  own  stupidity,  and 
insisted  that  for  decency's  sake  he  ought  to  remain 
this  night  with  his  wife.  He  could  not  leave  her;  it 
would  be  very  unjust. 

"  I  tell  you  frankly  you  would  be  doing  wrong. 
There  is  no  hurry  over  there.  You  will  go  to-morrow. 
Come ;  do  this  for  my  sake." 

Arnoux  put  back  his  candlestick,  and,  embracing 
him,  said: 

"  You  are  a  fine  fellow !  " 



FREDERICK  became  the  parasite  of  the  house  of 
Arnoux,  and  a  miserable  existence  stretched  out 
before  him. 

If  anyone  were  ill,  he  called  several  times  a  day  to 
know  how  the  patient  was,  went  to  the  piano-tuner's, 
contrived  to  do  a  thousand  acts  of  kindness;  and  he 
suffered  with  an  air  of  contentment  Mademoiselle 
Marthe's  poutings  and  the  caresses  of  little  Eugene, 
who  was  always  running  his  dirty  hands  over  the  young 
man's  face.  He  was  present  at  dinners  at  which  Mon- 
sieur and  Madame,  facing  each  other,  did  not  exchange 
a  word,  unless  it  happened  that  Arnoux  provoked  his 
wife  with  the  ridiculous  remarks  he  made.  When  the 
meal  was  finished,  he  would  play  about  the  room  with 
his  son,  conceal  himself  behind  the  furniture,  or  carry 
the  little  boy  on  his  back,  walking  about  on  all  fours. 
At  last,  he  would  go  out,  and  she  would  at  once  plunge 
into  the  eternal  subject  of  complaint — Arnoux. 

It  was  not  that  his  misconduct  excited  her  indigna- 
tion, but  her  pride  appeared  to  be  wounded,  and  she 
made  no  effort  to  hide  her  repugnance  toward  this 
man,  who  showed  neither  delicacy,  dignity,  nor  honour. 

"  It  must  be  that  he  is  mad !  "  she  said. 

Frederick  artfully  induced  her  to  confide  in  him. 
Ere  long  he  knew  all  the  details  of  her  life.  Her  par- 
ents were  people  of  humble  rank  at  Chartres.  One 
day,  Arnoux,  while  sketching  on  the  bank  of  the  river 


(at  this  period  he  believed  himself  to  be  a  painter), 
saw  her  leaving  the  church,  and  made  her  an  offer 
of  marriage.  On  account  of  his  wealth,  he  was  im- 
mediately accepted.  Besides,  he  was  desperately  in 
love  with  her.  She  added: 

"  Good  heavens !  he  loves  me  still,  after  his  fashion !" 

They  spent  the  few  months  immediately  after  their 
marriage  in  travelling  through  Italy. 

Arnoux,  in  spite  of  his  enthusiasm  over  the  scenery 
and  the  masterpieces,  did  nothing  but  groan  over  the 
wine,  and,  to  find  some  kind  of  amusement,  organised 
picnics  along  with  some  English  people.  The  profit 
which  he  had  made  by  reselling  some  pictures  tempted 
him  to  take  up  the  fine  arts  as  a  commercial  specula- 
tion. Then,  he  became  infatuated  about  pottery.  Just 
now  other  branches  of  commerce  attracted  him ;  and 
as  he  became  more  and  more  vulgarised,  he  contracted 
coarse  and  extravagant  habits.  It  was  not  so  much 
for  his  vices  she  reproached  him  as  for  his  entire  con- 
duct. No  change  could  be  expected  in  him,  and  her 
unhappiness  was  irreparable. 

Frederick  declared  that  his  own  life  in  the  same 
way  was  a  failure. 

He  was  still  a  young  man,  however.  Why  should 
he  be  melancholy?  And  she  gave  him  good  advice: 
"  Work  and  marry ! "  He  answered  her  with  bitter 
smiles ;  for  instead  of  telling  the  real  cause  of  his 
grief,  he  pretended  that  it  was  of  a  different  character, 
a  sublime  feeling,  and  he  assumed  the  part  of  an 
Antony,  the  man  accursed  by  fate — language  which 
did  not,  however,  change  very  materially  the  com- 
plexion of  his  thoughts. 

For  certain  men  action  becomes  more  difficult  as 
desire  becomes  stronger.  They  are  embarrassed  by 
self-distrust,  and  terrified  by  the  fear  of  making  them- 


selves  disliked.  Besides,'  deep  attachments  resemble 
virtuous  women :  they  are  afraid  of  being  discovered, 
and  pass  through  life  with  downcast  eyes. 

Though  he  was  now  better  acquainted  with  Madame 
Arnoux  (for  that  very  reason  perhaps),  he  wras  still 
more  faint-hearted  than  before.  Each  morning  he 
swore  to  himself  that  he  would  take  a  bold  course. 
He  was  prevented  from  doing  so  by  an  unconquerable 
feeling  of  bashfulness ;  and  he  had  no  example  to 
guide  him,  inasmuch  as  she  was  different  from  other 
women.  From  the  force  of  his  imaginings,  he  had 
placed  her  outside  the  ordinary  pale  of  humanity. 
When  beside  her  he  felt  himself  of  less  importance  in 
the  world  than  the  sprigs  of  silk  that  escaped  from 
her  scissors. 

Then  he  thought  of  monstrous  and  absurd  devices, 
such  as  surprises  at  night,  with  narcotics  and  false  keys 
— anything  appearing  easier  to  him  than  to  face  her 

Besides,  the  children,  the  two  servant-maids,  and 
the  relative  position  of  the  rooms  were  insurmountable 
obstacles.  Then  he  made  up  his  mind  to  possess  her 
himself  alone,  and  to  bring  her  to  live  with  him  far 
away  in  the  depths  of  some  solitude.  He  even  ques- 
tioned himself  what  lake  would  be  blue  enough,  what 
seashore  would  be  delightful  enough  for  her,  whether 
it  would  be  in  Spain,  Switzerland,  or  the  East ;  and  ex- 
pressly fixing  on  days  when  she  seemed  more  irritated 
than  usual,  he  told  her  that  it  would  be  necessary  for 
her  to  leave  the  house,  to  find  some  justification  for 
such  a  step,  and  that  he  saw  no  way  out  of  it  but  a 
separation.  However,  for  the  sake  of  the  children 
whom  she  loved,  she  would  never  resort  to  such  an 
extreme  course.  So  much  virtue  served  to  increase 
his  respect  for  her. 


He  spent  each  afternoon  in  thinking  over  the  visit 
he  had  paid  the  night  before,  and  in  longing  for  the 
evening  to  come  in  order  that  he  might  call  again. 
When  he  did  not  dine  with  them,  he  posted  himself 
about  nine  o'clock  at  the  corner  of  the  street,  and,  as 
soon  as  Arnoux  had  slammed  the  hall-door  behind 
him,  Frederick  quickly  went  up  the  two  flights  of 
stairs,  and  asked  the  servant-girl  in  an  ingenuous 
fashion : 

"  Is  Monsieur  in  ?  " 

Then  he  would  exhibit  surprise  at  rinding  that  Ar- 
noux was  out. 

The  latter  frequently  came  back  unexpectedly.  Then 
Frederick  had  to  accompany  him  to  the  little  cafe  in 
the  Rue  Sainte-Anne,  which  Regimbart  now  fre- 

The  Citizen  would  give  vent  to  some  fresh  griev- 
ance which  he  had  against  the  Crown.  Then  they 
would  chat,  pouring  out  friendly  abuse  on  each  other, 
for  the  earthenware  manufacturer  took  Regimbart 
for  a  thinker  of  a  high  order,  and,  vexed  at  seeing 
him  neglecting  so  many  chances  of  winning  distinc- 
tion, chaffed  the  Citizen  about  his  laziness.  It  seemed 
to  Regimbart  that  Arnoux  was  a  man  full  of  heart 
and  imagination,  but  of  decidedly  lax  morals ;  there- 
fore he  was  quite  unceremonious  toward  a  personage 
he  respected  so  little,  refusing  even  to  dine  at  his 
house  on  the  ground  that  "  such  formality  was  a  bore." 

Sometimes,  at  the  moment  of  parting,  Arnoux  would 
be  seized  with  hunger.  He  would  order  an  omelet  or 
some  roasted  apples ;  and,  as  there  was  never  anything 
to  eat  in  the  establishment,  he  sent  out  for  something. 
They  would  wait.  Regimbart  did  not  leave,  and  usu- 
ally ended  by  consenting  in  a  grumbling  fashion  to 
have  something  himself.  He  was  nevertheless  gloomy, 


for  he  remained  for  hours  seated  before  a  half-filled 
glass.  As  Providence  did  not  regulate  things  in  har- 
mony with  his  ideas,  he  v/as  becoming  a  hypochondriac, 
no  longer  cared  even  to  read  the  newspapers,  and  at 
the  mere  mention  of  England  began  to  bellow  with 
rage.  On  one  occasion,  referring  to  a  waiter  who 
attended  on  him  carelessly,  he  exclaimed : 

"  Have  we  not  enough  insults  from  the  foreigner?" 

Except  at  these  critical  periods  he  remained  taciturn, 
contemplating  "'  an  infallible  stroke  of  business  that 
would  burst  up  the  whole  shop." 

Whilst  he  was  lost  in  these  reflections,  Arnoux  in 
a  monotonous  voice  and  with  a  mild  look  of  intoxica- 
tion, related  incredible  anecdotes  of  which  he  was  al- 
ways the  hero;  and  Frederick  (this  was,  no  doubt, 
due  to  some  deep-rooted  resemblances)  felt  more  or 
less  attracted  toward  him.  He  blamed  himself  for  this 
weakness,  believing  that  he  ought  to  hate  this  man. 

Arnoux,  in  Frederick's  presence,  complained  of  his 
wife's  ill-temper,  her  obstinacy,  her  unjust  accusations. 
She  had  never  been  like  this  in  former  days. 

"  If  I  were  you,"  said  Frederick,  "  I  would  make 
her  an  allowance  and  live  alone." 

Arnoux  made  no  reply ;  but  the  next  moment  he 
began  to  sound  her  praises.  She  was  good,  devoted, 
intelligent,  and  virtuous ;  and,  passing  to  her  personal 
beauty,  he  made  some  revelations  on  the  subject  with 
the  thoughtlessness  of  people  who  display  their  treas- 
ures at  taverns. 

His  equilibrium  was  much  disturbed  by  a  catas- 

He  had  been  appointed  one  of  the  Board  of  Super- 
intendence in  a  kaolin  company.  But  placing  reliance 
on  all  that  he  was  told,  he  had  signed  inaccurate  re- 
ports and  approved,  without  verification,  of  the  annuaJ 


inventories  fraudulently  prepared  by  the  manager.  The 
company  had  now  failed,  and  Arnoux,  being  legally 
responsible,  was,  along  with  the  others  who  were  liable 
under  the  guaranty,  condemned  to  pay  damages,  mean- 
ing a  loss  to  him  of  thirty  thousand  francs,  not  to  speak 
of  the  costs  of  the  judgment. 

Frederick  saw  the  report  of  the  case  in  a  newspaper, 
and  at  once  hurried  off  to  the  Rue  de  Paradis. 

He  was  ushered  into  Madame's  apartment.  It  was 
breakfast-time.  A  round  table  close  to  the  fire  was 
laden  with  bowls  of  cafe  au  lait.  Slippers  trailed  over 
the  carpet,  and  clothes  over  the  armchairs.  Arnoux 
was  attired  in  trousers  and  a  knitted  vest,  with  his  eyes 
bloodshot  and  his  hair  in  disorder.  Little  Eugene  was 
crying  at  the  pain  caused  by  an  attack  of  mumps,  while 
nibbling  at  a  slice  of  bread  and  butter.  His  sister  was 
eating  quietly.  Madame  Arnoux,  a  little  paler  than 
usual,  was  attending  on  all  three  of  them. 

"  Well,"  said  Arnoux,  heaving  a  deep  sigh,  "  you 
know  all  about  it  ?  " 

And,  as  Frederick  gave  him  a  sympathetic  look: 
"  There,  you  see,  I  have  been  the  victim  of  my  own 
trustfulness !  " 

Then  he  relapsed  into  silence,  and  so  great  was  his 
distress,  that  he  pushed  his  breakfast  away  from  him. 
Madame  Arnoux  raised  her  eyes  as  she  shrugged  her 
shoulders.  He  passed  his  hand  across  his  forehead. 

"  After  all,  I  am  not  guilty.  I  have  nothing  to  re- 
proach myself  with.  'Tis  a  misfortune.  It  will  be 
overcome — ay,  and  so  much  the  worse,  faith !  " 

He  took  a  piece  of  cake,  however,  in  obedience  to 
his  wife's  entreaties. 

That  evening  he  invited  her  to  dine  with  him  alone 
in  a  private  room  at  the  Maison  d'Or.  Madame  Ar- 
noux did  not  understand  this  emotional  impulse,  tak- 


ing  offence,  in  fact,  at  being  treated  as  if  she  were  a 
light  woman.  Arnoux,  on  the  contrary,  meant  it  as 
a  proof  of  affection.  Then,  as  he  was  beginning  to 
feel  dull,  he  paid  the  Marechale  a  visit  in  order  to 
amuse  himself. 

Up  to  this  time,  he  had  been  pardoned  for  many 
things  owing  to  his  reputation  for  good-fellowship. 
His  lawsuit  placed  him  amongst  men  of  bad  repute. 
No  one  visited  his  house. 

Frederick,  however,  considered  that  he  was  bound 
in  honour  to  go  there  more  frequently  than  ever.  He 
hired  a  box  at  the  Italian  opera,  and  took  them  with 
him  every  week.  Meanwhile,  the  pair  had  reached 
that  stage  in  unsuitable  unions  when  an  invincible 
lassitude  springs  from  concessions  which  people  get 
into  the  habit  of  making,  and  which  render  existence 
intolerable.  Madame  Arnoux  restrained  her  pent-up 
feelings  ;  Arnoux  became  gloomy  ;  and  Frederick  grew 
sad  at  witnessing  the  unhappiness  of  these  two  ill- 
fated  beings. 

She  had  imposed  on  him  the  obligation,  since  she 
had  given  him  her  confidence,  of  making  inquiries 
into  her  husband's  affairs.  But  shame  prevented  him 
from  doing  so.  It  was  painful  to  him  to  reflect  that 
he  coveted  the  wife  of  this  man,  at  whose  dinner-table 
he  constantly  sat.  Nevertheless,  he  continued  his  vis- 
its, excusing  himself  on  the  ground  that  he  was  bound 
to  protect  her,  and  that  an  occasion  might  present 
itself  for  being  of  service  to  her. 

Eight  days  after  the  ball,  he  had  paid  a  visit  to  M. 
Dambreuse.  The  financier  had  offered  him  twenty 
shares  in  a  coal-mining  speculation ;  Frederick  did  not 
return  there  again.  Deslauriers  had  written'  letters 
to  him,  which  he  left  unanswered.  Pellerin  had  invited 
him  to  go  and  see  the  portrait ;  he  always  excused  him- 


self.  He  gave  way,  however,  to  Cisy's  persistent 
appeals  to  be  introduced  to  Rosanette. 

She  received  him  very  kindly,  but  without  spring- 
ing on  his  neck  as  she  used  to  do  formerly.  His  com- 
rade was  delighted  at  being  received  by  a  woman  of 
easy  virtue,  and  above  all  at  having  a  chat  with  an 
actor.  Delmar  was  there  when  he  called.  A  drama 
in  which  he  appeared  as  a  peasant  lecturing  Louis  XIV 
and  prophesying  the  events  of  '89  had  made  him  so 
conspicuous  that  similar  parts  were  continually  as- 
signed to  him ;  and  now  his  function  consisted  of 
attacks  on  the  monarchs  of  all  nations.  As  an  English 
brewer,  he  inveighed  against  Charles  I ;  as  a  student 
at  Salamanca,  he  cursed  Philip  II;  or,  as  a  sensitive 
father,  he  expressed  indignation  against  the  Pompa- 
dour— this  was  the  most  beautiful  bit  of  acting! 

All  this  had  fascinated  Rosanette ;  and  she  had  got 
rid  of  Pere  Oudry,  without  caring  one  jot  about  con- 
sequences, as  she  was  not  covetous. 

Arnoux,  who  knew  her  disposition,  had  taken  ad- 
vantage of  the  state  of  affairs  for  some  time  past  to 
spend  very  little  money  on  her.  M.  Roque  appeared 
occasionally,  and  all  three  of  them  carefully  avoided 
anything  like  a  candid  explanation.  Then,  fancying 
that  she  had  got  rid  of  the  other  solely  on  his  account, 
Arnoux  increased  her  allowance,  for  she  was  living 
very  expensively.  She  had  even  sold  her  cashmere 
in  her  anxiety  to  pay  off  her  old  debts,  as  she  said ;  and 
he  was  continually  giving  her  money,  whilst  she  be- 
witched him  and  imposed  upon  him  pitilessly.  There- 
fore, bills  and  stamped  paper  rained  all  over  the  house. 
Frederick  felt  that  a  crisis  was  approaching. 

One  day  he  called  to  see  Madame  Arnoux.  She 
was  out.  Monsieur  was  at  work  below  stairs  in  the 
shop.  In  fact,  Arnoux,  in  the  midst  of  his  Japanese 


vases,  was  trying  to  impress  a  newly-married  pair  who 
happened  to  be  well-to-do  people  from  the  provinces. 

When  the  customers  had  gone,  he  told  Frederick 
that  he  had  that  very  morning  been  engaged  in  a  little 
altercation  with  his  wife.  In  order  to  obviate  any 
remarks  about  expense,  he  had  declared  that  the  Mare- 
chale  was  no  longer  his  mistress.  "  I  even  told  her 
that  she  was  yours." 

Frederick  was  annoyed  at  this ;  but  to  utter  re- 
proaches might  only  betray  him.  He  faltered  :  "  Ah ! 
you  were  in  the  wrong — greatly  in  the  wrong !  " 

"  What  does  that  matter?  "  said  Arnoux.  "  Where 
is  the  disgrace  of  passing  for  her  lover?  I  am  really 
so  myself.  Would  you  not  be  flattered  at  being  in  such 
a  position?  " 

Had  she  spoken  ?  Was  this  a  hint  ?  Frederick  has- 
tened to  reply : 

"  No !  not  at  all !  on  the  contrary !  " 

"  Well,  what  then  ?  " 

"  Yes,  'tis  true ;  it  makes  no  difference  so  far  as 
that's  concerned." 

Arnoux  next  asked :  "  And  why  don't  you  call  there 
oftener  ? " 

Frederick  promised  that  he  would  do  so. 

"  Ah !  I  forgot !  you  ought,  when  talking  about 
Rosanette,  to  admit  in  some  way  to  my  wife  that  you 
are  her  lover.  I  can't  suggest  how  you  can  best  do 
this,  but  you'll  find  that  out.  I  ask  this  of  you  as  a 
special  favour — eh  ?  " 

The  young  man's  only  answer  was  an  equivocal 
grimace.  This  calumny  had  undone  him.  He  called 
on  her  that  evening,  and  swore  that  Arnoux's  accusa- 
tion was  false. 

"Is  that  really  so?" 

He  appeared  to  be  speaking  sincerely,  and,  when 


she  had  taken  a  long  breath  of  relief,  she  said  to  him : 

"  I  believe  you/'  with  a  beautiful  smile.  Then,  with 
bent  head,  and,  without  looking  at  him : 

"  Besides,  nobody  has  any  claim  on  you!  " 

So  then  she  had  divined  nothing;  and  she  despised 
him,  seeing  that  she  did  not  think  he  could  love  her 
well  enough  to  remain  faithful  to  her !  Frederick,  for- 
getting his  overtures  while  with  the  other,  looked  on 
the  permission  accorded  to  him  as  an  insult. 

After  this  she  suggested  that  he  ought  now  and  then 
to  visit  Rosanette,  to  get  a  little  glimpse  of  what  she 
was  like. 

Arnoux  presently  made  his  appearance,  and,  five 
minutes  later,  wished  to  carry  him  off  to  Rosanette's. 

The  situation  was  becoming  intolerable. 

His  attention  was  diverted  by  a  letter  from  the 
notary,  announcing  that  he  would  send  him  fifteen 
thousand  francs  the  following  day ;  and,  in  order  to 
make  up  for  his  neglect  of  Deslauriers,  he  went  forth- 
with to  tell  him  this  good  news. 

The  advocate  was  lodging  in  the  Rue  des  Trois- 
Maries,  on  the  fifth  floor,  over  a  courtyard.  His  study, 
a  little  tiled  apartment,  chilly,  and  with  a  grey  paper 
on  the  walls,  had  as  its  principal  decoration  a  gold 
medal,  the  prize  awarded  him  when  he  took  his  degree 
as  a  Doctor  of  Laws.  It  was  his  consultation-hour,  and 
the  advocate  had  on  a  white  cravat. 

The  news  as  to  the  fifteen  thousand  francs  (he  had, 
no  doubt,  given  up  all  hope  of  getting  the  amount) 
made  him  chuckle  with  delight. 

"  That's  right,  old  fellow,  that's  right — that's  quite 
right !  " 

He  threw  some  wood  into  the  fire,  sat  down  again, 
and  immediately  began  talking  about  the  journal.  The 
first  thing  to  do  was  to  get  rid  of  Hussonnet. 


"  I'm  tired  of  that  idiot !  As  for  officially  professing 
opinions,  my  own  idea  is  that  the  most  equitable  and 
forcible  position  is  to  have  no  opinions  at  all." 

Frederick  appeared  astonished. 

"  Why,  the  thing  is  perfectly  plain.  It  is  time  that 
politics  should  be  dealt  with  scientifically.  The  old 
men  of  the  eighteenth  century  began  it  when  Rousseau 
and  the  men  of  letters  introduced  into  the  political 
sphere  philanthropy,  poetry,  and  other  fudge,  to  the 
great  delight  of  the  Catholics — a  natural  alliance,  how- 
ever, since  the  modern  reformers  (I  can  prove  it)  all 
believe  in  Revelations.  But,  if  you  sing  high  masses  for 
Poland,  if,  in  place  of  the  God  of  the  Dominicans,  who 
was  an  executioner,  you  take  the  God  of  the  Romanti- 
cists, w-ho  is  an  upholsterer,  if,  in  fact,  you  have  not 
a  wider  conception  of  the  Absolute  than  your  ancestors, 
Monarchy  will  penetrate  underneath  your  Republican 
forms,  and  your  red  cap  will  never  be  other  than  the 
headpiece  of  a  priest.  The  only  difference  will  be  that 
the  cell  system  will  take  the  place  of  torture,  the  out- 
rageous treatment  of  Religion  that  of  sacrilege,  and 
the  European  Concert  that  of  the  Holy  Alliance ;  and 
in  this  beautiful  order  which  we  admire,  composed  of 
the  wreckage  of  the  followers  of  Louis  XIV,  the  rem- 
nants of  the  Voltaireans,  with  some  Imperial  white- 
wash on  top,  and  some  fragments  of  the  British  Con- 
stitution, you  will  see  the  municipal  councils  trying  to 
give  trouble  to  the  Mayor,  the  general  councils  to  their 
Prefect,  the  Chambers  to  the  King,  the  Press  to  Power, 
and  the  Administration  to  everybody.  But  simple- 
minded  people  get  enthusiastic  about  the  Civil  Code,  a 
work  fabricated — let  them  say  what  they  like — in  a 
mean  and  tyrannical  spirit,  for  the  legislator,  instead  of 
doing  his  duty  to  the  State,  which  simply  means  to 
observe  customs  in  a  regular  fashion,  claims  to  model 


society  like  another  Lycurgus.  Why  does  the  law  im- 
pede fathers  of  families  with  regard  to  the  making  of 
wills?  Why  does  it  place  shackles  on  the  compulsory 
sale  of  real  estate?  Why  does  it  punish  as  a  misde- 
meanour vagrancy,  which  ought  not  even  to  be  re- 
garded as  a  technical  contravention  of  the  Code.  And 
there  are  other  things !  I  know  all  about  them !  and 
so  I  am  going  to  write  a  little  novel,  entitled  The  His- 
tory of  the  Idea  of  Justice,  which  will  be  amusing. 
But  I  am  infernally  thirsty!  And  you?" 

He  leaned  out  of  the  window,  and  called  to  the  por- 
ter to  bring  them  two  glasses  of  grog  from  the  public- 
house  over  the  way. 

"  To  sum  up,  I  see  three  parties — no !  three  groups 
— in  none  of  which  do  I  take  the  slightest  interest: 
those  who  have,  those  who  have  nothing,  and  those 
who  are  trying  to  have.  All  agree  in  their  idiotic 
worship  of  Authority !  For  example,  Mably  recom- 
mends that  philosophers  should  be  prevented  from  pub- 
lishing their  doctrines ;  M.  Wronsky,  the  geometrician, 
describes  the  censorship  as  the  '  critical  expression  of 
speculative  spontaneity  ' ;  Pere  Enfantin  gives  his  bles- 
sing to  the  Hapsburgs  for  having  passed  a  hand  across 
the  Alps  to  keep  Italy  down  ;  Pierre  Leroux  wishes  peo- 
ple to  be  compelled  to  listen  to  an  orator;  and  Loui? 
Blanc  inclines  toward  a  State  religion — so  much  ragp 
for  government  have  these  vassals  whom  we  call  the 
people !  Nevertheless,  there  is  not  a  single  legitimate 
government,  in  spite  of  their  sempiternal  principles, 
'  Principle  '  signifies  '  origin.'  It  is  always  necessary 
to  go  back  to  a  revolution,  to  an  act  of  violence,  to  a 
transitory  fact.  Thus,  our  principle  is  the  national 
sovereignty  embodied  in  the  Parliamentary  form, 
though  the  Parliament  does  not  agree  to  this !  But  in 
what  way  could  the  sovereignty  of  the  people  be  more 


sacred  than  the  Divine  Right  ?  They  are  both  fictions. 
Enough  of  metaphysics ;  no  more  phantoms !  Dogmas 
are  not  required  in  order  to  get  the  streets  swept!  It 
may  be  said  that  I  am  turning  society  upside  down. 
Well,  after  all,  where  would  be  the  harm  of  that?  It 
is,  indeed,  a  nice  thing — this  society  of  yours." 

Frederick  could  have  said  much.  But,  seeing  that 
his  theories  were  far  less  advanced  than  those  of  Sene- 
cal,  he  was  full  of  indulgence  toward  Deslauriers.  He 
contented  himself  with  arguing  that  such  a  system 
would  make  them  generally  hated. 

"  On  the  contrary,  as  we  should  have  given  to  each 
party  a  pledge  of  hatred  against  his  neighbour,  all  will 
reckon  on  us.  You  are  about  to  come  into  it  yourself, 
and  to  furnish  us  with  some  transcendent  criticism !  " 

It  was  necessary  to  attack  accepted  ideas — the 
Academy,  the  Normal  School,  the  Conservatoire,  the 
Comedie  Franchise,  everything  that  resembled  an  insti- 
tution. It  was  in  that  way  that  they  would  give  con- 
sistency to  the  doctrines  taught  in  their  review.  Then, 
as  soon  as  it  had  been  thoroughly  well-established,  it 
would  suddenly  be  converted  into  a  daily  publication. 
Upon  which  they  could  find  fault  with  individuals. 

"  And  they  will  respect  us,  you  may  be  sure !  " 

Deslauriers  referred  to  that  old  dream  of  his — the 
position  of  editor-in-chief,  so  that  he  might  have  the 
unutterable  happiness  of  directing  others,  of  cutting 
down  their  articles,  of  ordering  them  to  be  written  or 
declining  them.  His  eyes  twinkled  under  his  goggles ; 
he  worked  himself  into  a  state  of  excitement,  and 
drank  a  few  glasses  of  brandy,  one  after  the  other,  in 
an  automatic  fashion. 

"  You'll  have  to  stand  me  a  dinner  once  a  week. 
That's  indispensable,  even  though  you  should  have  to 
squander  half  your  income  on  it.  People  would  feel 


pleasure  in  going  to  it ;  it  would  be  a  centre  for  the 
others,  a  lever  for  yourself ;  and  by  manipulating  pub- 
lic opinion  at  its  two  ends — literature  and  politics — you 
will  see  how,  before  six  months  have  passed,  we  shall 
occupy  the  first  rank  in  Paris." 

Frederick,  as  he  listened  to  Deslauriers,  experienced 
a  sensation  of  rejuvenescence,  like  a  man  who,  after 
having  been  confined  in  a  room  for  a  long  time,  is  sud- 
denly taken  into  the  open  air.  The  enthusiasm  of  his 
friend  was  contagious. 

"  Yes,  I  have  been  an  idler,  an  idiot — you  are  right !  " 

"  All  in  good  time,"  said  Deslauriers.  "  I  have 
found  my  Frederick  again !  " 

And,  holding  up  his  jaw  with  closed  fingers : 

"  Ah !  you  have  made  me  suffer !  Never  mind,  I 
love  you  all  the  same." 

They  stood  gazing  into  each  other's  faces,  both 
deeply  affected,  and  were  on  the  point  of  embracing 
each  other. 

A  woman's  cap  appeared  on  the  threshold  of  the 

"What  do  you  want?"  said  Deslauriers. 

It  was  Mademoiselle  Clemence,  his  mistress. 

She  replied  that,  as  she  happened  to  be  passing,  she 
could  not  resist  the  desire  to  come  in  to  see  him,  and 
in  order  that  they  might  have  a  little  repast  together, 
she  had  brought  some  cakes,  which  she  laid  on  the 

"  Take  care  of  my  papers ! "  said  the  advocate, 
sharply.  "  Besides,  this  is  the  third  time  that  I  have 
forbidden  you  to  come  at  my  consultation-hours." 

She  wished  to  embrace  him. 

"  Very  well !    Now  be  off !  " 

He  repelled  her;  she  sighed  heavily. 

"  Ah !  you  are  plaguing  me  again !  " 


"  'Tis  because  I  love  you !  " 

"  I  don't  want  you  to  love  me,  but  to  oblige  me !  " 

This  harsh  remark  stopped  Clemence's  tears.  She 
went  over  to  the  window,  and  remained  there  motion- 
less, with  her  forehead  against  the  pane. 

Her  attitude  and  her  silence  irritated  Deslauriers. 

"  When  you  have  quite  finished,  you  will  order  your 
carriage,  will  you  not  ?  " 

She  turned  round  with  a  start. 

"  You  are  sending  me  away  ?  " 

"  Exactly." 

She  fixed  on  him  her  large  blue  eyes,  no  doubt  as  a 
last  appeal,  then  drew  the  two  ends  of  her  tartan  across 
each  other,  lingered  for  a  minute,  then  went  away. 

"  You  ought  to  call  her  back,"  said  Frederick. 

"  Come,  now  !  " 

And,  as  he  wished  to  go  out,  Deslauriers  went  into 
the  kitchen,  which  also  served  as  his  dressing-room. 
On  the  stone  floor,  beside  a  pair  of  boots,  were  to  be 
seen  the  remains  of  a  meagre  breakfast,  and  a  mattress 
with  a  coverlid  was  rolled  up  on  the  floor  in  a  corner. 
'  This  will  show  you,"  said  he,  "  that  I  receive  few 
marchionesses.  'Tis  easy  to  get  enough  of  them,  ay, 
faith !  and  others,  too !  Those  who  cost  nothing  take 
up  your  time — 'tis  money  under  another  form.  Now, 
I'm  not  rich !  And  then  they  are  all  so  silly,  so  silly ! 
Can  you  converse  with  a  woman  yourself  ?  " 

As  they  parted,  at  the  corner  of  the  Pont  Neuf,  Des- 
lauriers said :  "  It's  settled,  then ;  you'll  bring  the  thing 
to  me  to-morrow  as  soon  as  you  have  it !  " 

"  Agreed  !  "  said  Frederick. 

When  he  awoke  next  morning,  he  received  through 
the  post  a  cheque  on  the  bank  for  fifteen  thousand 

This  scrap  of  paper  represented  to  him  fifteen  large 


bags  of  money;  and  he  thought  to  himself  that,  with 
such  a  sum  he  could,  first  of  all,  keep  his  carriage  for 
three  years  instead  of  selling  it,  as  he  would  soon  be 
forced  to  do,  or  buy  for  himself  two  beautiful  damas- 
keened pieces  of  armour,  which  he  had  seen  on  the 
Ouai  Voltaire,  then  a  quantity  of  other  things,  pictures, 
books  and  what  numerous  bouquets  of  flowers,  presents 
for  Madame  Arnoux!  anything,  in  short,  was  prefer- 
able to  risking  losing  all  in  that  journal!  Deslauriers 
seemed  to  him  presumptuous,  his  insensibility  on  the 
night  before  had  chilled  Frederick's  affection  for  him ; 
the  young  man  was  indulging  in  these  feelings  of  re- 
gret, when  he  was  surprised  by  the  sudden  appear- 
ance of  Arnoux,  who  sat  down  heavily  on  the  side  of 
the  bed,  like  a  man  overwhelmed  with  trouble. 

"  What  is  the  matter  now?  " 

"  I  am  ruined !  " 

He  had  to  deposit  that  very  day  at  the  office  of 
Maitre  Beaumont,  notary,  in  the  Rue  Saint-Anne, 
eighteen  thousand  francs  lent  him  by  one  Vanneroy. 

"  Tis  an  unaccountable  disaster.  I  have  given  him 
a  mortgage,  which  ought  to  keep  him  quiet.  But  he 
threatens  me  with  a  writ  if  it  is  not  paid  this  after- 
noon promptly." 

"  And  what  next  ?  " 

"  Oh !  the  next  step  is  easy  enough ;  he  will  take  pos- 
session of  my  real  estate.  Once  the  thing  is  publicly 
announced,  it  means  ruin  to  me — that's  all !  Ah !  if  I 
could  find  anyone  to  advance  me  this  cursed  sum,  he 
might  take  Vanneroy's  place,  and  I  should  be  saved! 
You  don't  happen  to  have  it  yourself  ?  " 

The  cheque  was  still  on  the  night-table  near  a  book. 
Frederick  picked  up  a  volume,  and  placed  it  on  the 
cheque,  while  he  replied : 

"  Good  heavens,  my  dear  friend,  no !  " 


But  it  was  painful  to  him  to  say  "  no  "  to  Arnoux. 

"  Don't  you  know  anyone  who  would ?  " 

"  Nobody !  and  to  think  that  in  eight  days  I  should 
be  getting  in  money !  There  is  owing  to  me  probably 
fifty  thousand  francs  at  the  end  of  the  month !  " 

"  Couldn't  you  ask  some  of  the  persons  in  your  debt 
to  make  you  an  advance  ?  " 

"  Ah !  well,  so  I  did !  " 

"  But  have  you  any  bills  or  promissory  notes  ?  " 

"  Not  one  !  " 

"  What  is  to  be  done  ?  "  said  Frederick. 
'  That's    \vhat    I'm    asking   myself,"    said    Arnoux. 
"  'Tisn't  for  myself,  my  God !  but  for  my  children  and 
my  poor  wife!  " 

Then,  each  phrase  falling  from  his  lips  in  a  broken 
fashion  : 

"  In  fact — I  could  rough  it — I  could  pack  off  all  I 
have — and  go  and  seek  my  fortune — I  don't  know 
where !  " 

"  Impossible !  "  exclaimed  Frederick. 

Arnoux  replied  with  an  air  of  calmness : 

"  How  do  you  think  I  could  remain  in  Paris  now  ?  " 

There  was  a  long  silence.  Frederick  broke  it  by  say- 

"  When  could  you  pay  back  this  money?  " 

Not  that  he  himself  had  it ;  quite  the  contrary !  But 
there  was  nothing  to  prevent  him  from  seeing  some 
friends,  and  making  an  application  to  them. 

And  he  rang  for  his  servant  to  get  himself  dressed. 

Arnoux  thanked  him. 

'  The  amount  you  need  is  eighteen  thousand  francs 
—isn't  it?" 

"  Oh !  I  could  manage  with  sixteen  thousand !  For 
I  could  make  two  thousand  five  hundred  out  of  it,  or 
get  three  thousand  on  my  silver  plate,  if  Vanneroy 


meanwhile  would  give  me  till  to-morrow ;  and,  I  re- 
peat to  you,  you  may  inform  the  lender,  give  him  a 
solemn  promise,  that  in  eight  days,  perhaps  even  in 
five  or  six,  the  money  will  be  returned.  Besides,  the 
mortgage  will  be  security  for  it.  So  there  is  no  risk, 
you  understand  ?  " 

Frederick  assured  him  that  he  thoroughly  under- 
stood the  state  of  affairs,  and  added  that  he  was  going 
out  immediately. 

He  would  be  sure  on  his  return  to  bestow  hearty 
maledictions  on  Deslauriers,  for  he  wished  to  keep  his 
word,  and  in  the  meantime,  to  oblige  Arnoux. 

"  Suppose  I  applied  to  Monsieur  Dambreuse  ?  But 
on  what  pretext  could  I  ask  for  money  ?  'Tis  I,  on  the 
contrary,  that  owe  him  some  for  the  shares  I  took  in 
his  coal-mining  company.  Ah!  let  him  go  hang  him- 
self— his  shares!  After  all,  I  am  not  actually  liable 
for  them !  " 

And  Frederick  approved  himself  for  his  own  inde- 
pendence, as  if  he  had  refused  to  do  some  service  for 
M.  Dambreuse. 

"  Ah,  well,"  said  he  to  himself  afterward,  "  since  I'm 
going  to  meet  with  a  loss  in  this  way — for  with  fifteen 
thousand  francs  I  might  gain  a  hundred  thousand! 
such  things  happen  on  the  Bourse — well,  then,  since  I 
am  breaking  my  promise  to  one  of  them,  am  I  not  free  ? 
Besides,  Deslauriers  might  wait?  No,  no;  that's 
wrong;  let  us  go  there." 

He  looked  at  his  watch. 

"  Ah !  there's  no  hurry.  The  bank  does  not  close 
till  five  o'clock." 

And,  at  half-past  four,  when  he  had  cashed  the 
cheque : 

'  'Tis  useless  now ;  he  would  not  be  in.  I'll  go  this 
evening."  Thus  giving  himself  the  opportunity  of 


changing  his  mind,  for  there  always  remain  in  the  con- 
science some  of  those  sophistries  which  we  pour  into 
it  ourselves.  It  preserves  the  after-taste  of  them,  like 
unwholesome  liquor. 

He  walked  along  the  boulevards,  and  dined  alone  at 
a  restaurant.  Then  he  listened  to  one  act  of  a  play  at 
the  Vaudeville,  in  order  to  divert  his  thoughts.  But 
his  bank-notes  caused  him  as  much  uneasiness  as  if  he 
had  stolen  them.  He  would  not  have  been  very  sorry 
if  he  had  lost  them. 

When  he  reached  home  he  found  a  letter  containing 
these  words : 

"What  news?  My  wife  joins  me,  dear  friend,  in 
the  hope,  etc. — Yours." 

And  then  there  was  a  flourish  after  his  signature. 

"  His  wife  !    She  appeals  to  me !  " 

At  the  same  moment  Arnoux  appeared,  anxious  to 
know  whether  he  had  been  able  to  obtain  the  sum  so 
sorely  needed. 

"  Wait  a  moment ;  here  it  is,"  said  Frederick. 

And,  twenty-four  hours  later,  he  gave  this  reply  to 
Deslauriers : 

"  I  have  no  money." 

The  advocate  called  three  days,  one  after  the  other, 
and  urged  Frederick  to  write  to  the  notary.  He  even 
offered  to  take  a  trip  to  Havre  himself  in  connection 
with  the  matter. 

At  the  end  of  the  week,  Frederick  nervously  asked 
the  worthy  Arnoux  for  his  fifteen  thousand  francs. 
Arnoux  put  it  off  till  the  following  day,  and  then  till 
the  day  after.  Frederick  ventured  out  late  at  night, 
fearing  lest  Deslauriers  might  come  on  him  by  sur- 

One  evening,  somebody  ran  against  him  at  the  corner 
of  the  Madeleine.  It  was  he. 


And  Deslauriers  accompanied  Frederick  as  far  as 
the  door  of  a  house  in  the  Faubourg  Poissonniere. 

"  Wait  for  me  !  " 

He  waited.  At  last,  after  three  quarters  of  an  hour, 
Frederick  came  out,  accompanied  by  Arnoux,  and 
made  signs  to  him  to  have  patience  a  little  longer. 
The  two  men  went  up  the  Rue  de  Hauteville  arm-in- 
arm, and  presently  they  turned  down  the  Rue  de  Cha- 

The  night  was  dark,  with  gusts  of  tepid  wind.  Ar- 
noux walked  on  slowly,  talking  about  the  Galleries  of 
Commerce — a  succession  of  covered  passages  leading 
from  the  Boulevard  Saint-Denis  to  the  Chatelet,  a  mar- 
vellous speculation,  into  which  he  was  very  anxious  to 

Frederick  could  hear  Deslauriers'  steps  behind  him 
like  reproachful  blows  falling  on  his  conscience.  But 
he  did  not  venture  to  claim  his  money,  through  a 
feeling  of  bashfulness,  and  also  through  a  fear  that  it 
would  be  useless.  The  other  was  drawing  nearer. 
He  made  up  his  mind  to  ask. 

Arnoux,  in  a  very  flippant  tone,  said  that,  as  he 
had  not  got  in  his  outstanding  debts,  he  was  really 
unable  to  pay  back  the  fifteen  thousand  francs. 

"  You  have  no  need  of  money,  I  fancy  ?  " 

At  that  moment  Deslauriers  came  up  to  Frederick, 
and,  taking  him  aside : 

"  Be  honest.  Have  you  got  the  amount  ?  Yes  or 

"  Well,  then,  no,"  said  Frederick ;  "  I've  lost  it." 

"  Ah !  and  in  what  way  ?  " 

"  At  play." 

Deslauriers,  without  saying  another  word,  made  a 
very  low  bow,  and  went  away.  Arnoux  had  taken  ad- 
vantage of  the  opportunity  to  light  a  cigar  in  a  tobac- 


conist's  shop.  When  he  came  back,  he  inquired,  "  Who 
was  that  young  man  ?  " 

"Oh!  nobody — a  friend." 

Then,  three  minutes  later,  in  front  of  Rosanette's 

"  Come  on  up,"  said  Arnoux ;  "  she'll  be  pleased  to 
see  you.  What  a  savage  you  are  just  now !  " 

A  gas-lamp,  which  \vas  directly  opposite,  <~hrew  its 
light  on  him  ;  and,  with  his  cigar  between  his  white 
teeth  and  his  air  of  contentment,  there  was  something 
intolerable  about  him.  . 

"  Ha !  now  that  I  think  of  it,  my  notary  has  been  at 
your  place  this  morning  about  that  mortgage-registry 
matter.  My  wife  reminded  me  about  it." 

"  A  wife  with  brains !  "  returned  Frederick  auto- 

"  I  believe  you." 

And  once  more  Arnoux  began  to  sing  his  wife's 
praises.  There  was  no  one  like  her  for  spirit,  tender- 
ness, and  thrift;  he  added  in  a  low  tone,  rolling  his 
eyes  about :  "  And  a  woman  with  so  many  charms, 

"  Good-bye !  "  said  Frederick. 

Arnoux  made  a  step  closer  to  him. 

"Hold  on!  Why  are  you  going?"  And,  with  his 
hand  half-stretched  out  toward  Frederick,  he  stared  at 
the  young  man,  quite  abashed  by  the  look  of  anger  in 
his  face. 

Frederick  repeated  in  a  dry  tone,  "  Good-bye !  " 

He  hurried  down  the  Rue  de  Breda  like  a  stone 
rolling  headlong,  raging  against  Arnoux,  swearing  in 
his  own  mind  that  he  would  never  see  him  again,  nor 
her  either,  so  broken-hearted  and  desolate  did  he  feel. 

Deslauriers  descended  the  Rue  des  Martyrs,  swear- 
ing aloud  in  his  indignation ;  for  his  project,  like  an 


obelisk  that  has  fallen,  now  assumed  extraordinary  pro- 
portions. He  considered  himself  robbed,  and  felt  as 
if  he  had  suffered  a  great  loss.  His  affection  for  Fred- 
erick was  dead,  and  he  experienced  a  feeling  of  joy 
at  it — it  was  a  sort  of  compensation  to  him !  A  hatred 
of  all  rich  people  took  possession  of  him.  He  leaned 
toward  Senecal's  opinions,  and  resolved  to  make  every 
effort  to  propagate  them. 

All  this  time,  Arnoux  was  comfortably  seated  in  an 
easy-chair  near  the  fire,  sipping  his  cup  of  tea,  with 
the  Marechale  on  his  knee. 

Frederick  did  not  go  back  there ;  and,  in  order  to  dis- 
tract his  attention  from  his  unhappy  passion,  he  de- 
termined to  write  a  History  of  the  Renaissance.  He 
piled  up  confusedly  on  his  table  the  humanists,  the  phi- 
losophers, and  the  poets,  and  he  went  to  inspect  some 
engravings  of  Mark  Antony,  and  tried  to  study  Mach- 
iavelli.  Gradually,  the  serenity  of  intellectual  work  had 
a  soothing  effect  upon  him.  While  his  mind  was 
steeped  in  the  personality  of  others,  he  lost  sight  of 
his  own — which  is  the  only  way,  perhaps,  to  get  rid 
of  suffering. 

One  day,  while  he  was  quietly  taking  notes,  the  door 
opened,  and  the  man-servant  announced  Madame  Ar- 

It  was  she,  indeed !  and  alone  ?  But,  no !  for  she 
was  holding  little  Eugene  by  the  hand,  followed  by  a 
nurse  in  a  white  apron.  She  sat  down,  and  after  a 
preliminary  cough : 

"  It  is  a  long  time  since  you  came  to  see  us." 

As  Frederick  could  think  of  no  excuse  at  the  mo- 
ment, she  added: 

"  It  was  delicacy  on  your  part !  " 

He  asked  in  return : 

"  Delicacv  about  what  ?  " 


"  About  all  you  have  done  for  Arnoux !  "  said  she. 

Frederick  made  a  significant  gesture.  "  What  do  I 
care  about  him,  indeed?  It  was  for  your  sake  I  did 

She  sent  off  the  child  to  play  with  his  nurse  in  the 
drawing-room.  Two  or  three  words  passed  between 
them  as  to  their  state  of  health ;  then  the  conversation 
hung  fire. 

She  wore  a  brown  silk  gown,  the  colour  of  Spanish 
wine,  with  a  paletot  of  black  velvet  bordered  with 
sable.  He  yearned  to  pass  his  hand  over  the  fur ;  and 
her  headbands,  so  long  and  so  exquisitely  smooth, 
seemed  to  draw  his  lips  toward  them.  But  he  was 
agitated  by  emotion,  and,  turning  his  eyes  toward  the 

"  It  is  rather  warm  here !  " 

Frederick  understood  what  her  discreet  glance 

"  Ah !  excuse  me !  the  two  leaves  of  the  door  are 
merely  drawn  together." 

"  Yes,  that's  true  !  " 

And  she  smiled,  as  much  as  to  say : 

"  I'm  not  the  least  afraid !  " 

He  asked  her  presently  what  was  the  object  of  her 

"  My  husband,"  she  replied  with  an  effort,  "  has 
urged  me  to  call  on  you,  not  venturing  to  do  so  him- 

"And  why?" 

"You  know  Monsieur  Dambreuse,  don't  you?" 

"  Yes,  slightly." 

"Ah!  slightly." 

She  relapsed  into  silence. 

"  No  matter !  finish  what  you  were  about  to  say." 

Thereupon  she  told  him  that,  two  days  before,  Ar- 


noux  had  found  himself  unable  to  meet  four  bills  of 
a  thousand  francs,  made  payable  at  the  banker's  order 
and  with  his  signature  attached  to  them.  She  felt 
sorry  for  having  compromised  her  children's  fortune. 
But  anything  was  preferable  to  dishonour;  and,  if 
Monsieur  Dambreuse  stopped  the  proceedings,  they 
would  certainly  pay  him  soon,  for  she  was  going  to  sell 
a  little  house  which  she  had  at  Chartres. 

"  Poor  woman !  "  murmured  Frederick.  "  I  will 
surely  go.  Rely  on  me !  " 


And  she  arose  to  leave. 

"  Oh !  do  not  hurry  away." 

She  remained  standing,  examining  the  trophy  of 
Mongolian  arrows  suspended  from  the  ceiling,  the 
bookcase,  the  bindings,  all  the  utensils  for  writing. 
She  lifted  up  the  bronze  bowl  which  held  his  pens. 
Her  feet  rested  on  different  portions  of  the  carpet. 
She  had  visited  Frederick  several  times,  but  always 
accompanied  by  Arnoux.  They  were  now  alone  to- 
gether— alone  in  his  own  house.  It  was  a  wonderful 
event — almost  a  successful  issue  of  his  love. 

She  wished  to  see  his  little  garden.  He  offered  her 
his  arm  to  show  her  his  property — thirty  feet  of  ground 
enclosed  by  some  houses,  adorned  with  shrubs  at  the 
corners  and  flower-borders  in  the  middle.  The  early 
days  of  April  had  arrived.  The  leaves  of  the  lilacs 
were  already  showing  their  borders  of  green.  A  breath 
of  pure  air  was  diffused  around,  and  the  little  birds 
chirped,  their  song  alternating  with  the  distant  sounds 
that  came  from  a  coachmaker's  forge. 

Frederick  procured  a  fire-shovel;  and,  while  they 
walked  on  side  by  side,  the  child  made  sand-pies  on  the 

Madame  Arnoux  did  not  think  that,  as  he  grew 


older,  he  would  have  a  great  imagination ;  but  he  had 
a  winning  disposition.  His  sister,  on  the  other  hand, 
possessed  a  caustic  humour  that  sometimes  wounded 

"  That  will  change/'  said  Frederick.  "  We  must 
never  despair." 

She  returned : 

"  We  must  never  despair !  " 

This  automatic  repetition  of  the  phrase  he  had  used 
appeared  to  him  a  sort  of  encouragement;  he  plucked 
a  rose,  the  only  one  in  the  garden. 

"  Do  you  remember  a  certain  bouquet  of  roses  one 
evening,  in  a  carriage  ?  " 

She  coloured  a  little ;  and,  with  an  air  of  bantering 
pity : 

"  Ah,  but  I  was  very  young  then !  " 

"  And  this  one,"  continued  Frederick,  in  a  low  tone, 
"  will  it  be  treated  the  same  way  ?  " 

She  replied,  while  turning  about  the  stem  between 
her  fingers,  like  the  thread  of  a  spindle : 

"  No,  I  will  preserve  it." 

She  called  the  nurse,  who  took  the  child  in  her  arms ; 
then,  on  the  threshold  of  the  door  in  the  street,  Madame 
Arnoux  inhaled  the  odour  of  the  rose,  leaning  her  head 
on  her  shoulder  with  a  look  as  sweet  as  a  kiss. 

When  he  returned  to  his  study,  he  gazed  at  the  arm- 
chair in  which  she  had  sat,  and  every  object  which  she 
had  touched.  Some  portion  of  her  was  diffused  around 
him.  The  sweet  caress  of  her  presence  lingered  there 

"  So,  then,  she  has  been  here,"  said  he  to  himself. 

And  his  soul  was  bathed  in  waves  of  infinite  tender- 

Next  morning,  at  eleven  o'clock,  he  presented  him- 
self at  M.  Dambreuse's  house.  He  was  received  in  the 


dining-room.  The  banker  was  seated  opposite  his  wife 
at  breakfast.  Beside  her  sat  his  niece,  and  at  the  other 
side  of  the  table  was  the  governess,  an  English  woman, 
strongly  pitted  with  smallpox. 

M.  Dambreuse  invited  Frederick  to  take  his  place 
amongst  them,  and  when  he  declined : 

"  What  can  I  do  for  you  ?    I  am  all  attention." 

Frederick  confessed,  while  affecting  indifference, 
that  he  had  come  to  make  a  request  in  behalf  of  one 

"  Ha !  ha !  the  ex-picture-dealer,"  said  the  banker, 
with  a  noiseless  laugh  which  exposed  his  gums. 
"  Oudry  formerly  gave  security  for  him ;  he  has  given 
a  lot  of  trouble." 

And  he  proceeded  to  read  the  letters  and  newspapers 
which  lay  beside  him  on  the  table. 

Madame  noticed  that  Frederick  was  embarrassed. 

"  Do  you  sometimes  see  our  friend  Martinon  ?  " 

"  He  will  be  here  this  evening,"  said  the  young  girl 
in  a  lively  tone. 

"  Ha !  so  you  know  him  ?  "  said  her  aunt,  turning  on 
her  a  freezing  look. 

At  that  moment  one  of  the  men-servants,  bending 
forward,  whispered  in  her  ear. 

"  Your  dressmaker,  Mademoiselle — Miss  John !  " 

And  the  governess,  in  obedience  to  this  summons, 
left  the  room  with  her  pupil. 

M.  Dambreuse,  annoyed  at  the  disarrangement  of 
the  chairs  by  this  movement,  asked  what  was  the  mat- 

"  It  is  Madame  Regimbart." 

"  Wait  a  moment !  Regimbart !  I  know  that  name. 
I  have  seen  his  signature." 

Frederick  at  length  broached  the  question.  Arnoux 
deserved  some  consideration ;  he  was  even  going,  for 


the  sole  purpose  of  fulfilling  his  engagements,  to  sell  a 
house  belonging  to  his  wife. 

"  She  is  thought  very  pretty,"  said  Madame  Dam- 

The  banker  added,  with  a  display  of  good-nature : 

"  Are  you  on  friendly  terms  with  them — on  intimate 
terms  ?  " 

Frederick,  without  giving  an  explicit  reply,  said  that 
he  would  appreciate  it  if  he  would  consider  the  matter. 

"  Well,  since  it  pleases  you,  be  it  so ;  we  will  wait. 
I  have  some  time  to  spare  yet ;  suppose  we  go  down  to 
my  office.  Would  you  mind  ?  " 

They  had  finished  breakfast.  Madame  Dambreuse 
bowed  slightly  toward  Frederick,  smiling  in  a  singular 
fashion,  with  a  mingling  of  politeness  and  irony. 
Frederick  had  no  time  to  reflect  about  it,  for  M.  Dam- 
breuse, as  soon  as  they  were  alone : 

"  You  did  not  come  for  your  shares  ?  " 

And,  without  permitting  him  to  make  any  excuses : 

"  Well !  well !  'tis  right  that  you  should  know  a  lit- 
tle more  about  the  business." 

He  offered  Frederick  a  cigarette,  and  began  his 

The  General  Union  of  French  Coal  Mines  had  been 
constituted.  All  that  they  were  waiting  for  was  the 
order  for  its  incorporation.  The  mere  fact  of  the 
amalgamation  had  lessened  the  cost  of  superintendence, 
and  of  manual  labour,  and  increased  the  profits.  Be- 
sides, the  company  had  conceived  a  new  idea,  which 
was  to  interest  the  workmen  in  its  undertaking.  It 
would  erect  houses  for  them,  healthful  dwellings;  fi- 
nally, it  would  constitute  itself  the  purveyor  of  its 
employes,  and  would  have  everything  supplied  to  them 
at  net  prices. 

"  And  they  will  be  the   gainers  by  it,   Monsieur : 


that's  true  progress!  that's  the  way  to  answer  effec- 
tively certain  Republican  brawlings.  We  have  on  our 
Board  " — he  showed  the  prospectus — "  a  peer  of 
France,  a  scholar  who  is  a  member  of  the  Institute,  a 
retired  field-officer  of  genius.  Such  elements  reassure 
the  timid,  and  appeal  to  intelligent  capitalists !  " 

The  company  would  have  in  its  favour  the  sanction 
of  the  State,  then  the  railways,  the  steam  service,  the 
metallurgical  establishments,  the  gas  companies,  and 
ordinary  households. 

"  Thus  we  heat,  we  light,  we  penetrate  to  the  very 
hearth  of  the  humblest  home.  But  how,  you  will  ask, 
can  we  be  sure  of  selling?  By  the  aid  of  protective 
laws,  dear  Monsieur,  and  we  shall  get  them! — that  is 
a  matter  that  concerns  us !  For  my  part,  however,  I 
am  a  downright  prohibitionist!  The  country  before 
anything !  " 

He  had  been  appointed  a  director;  but  he  had  not 
the  time  to  occupy  himself  with  certain  details,  amongst 
other  things  with  the  editing  of  their  publications. 

"  I  find  myself  rather  muddled  with  my  authors.  I 
have  forgotten  my  Greek.  I  should  need  some  one  to 
put  my  ideas  into  shape." 

And  suddenly :  "  Will  you  be  the  man  to  perform 
those  duties,  with  the  title  of  general  secretary  ?  " 

Frederick  did  not  know  what  to  say. 

"  Well,  what  is  there  to  prevent  you  ?  " 

His  functions  would  be  confined  to  writing  a  report 
every  year  for  the  shareholders.  He  would  be  day 
by  day  in  communication  with  the  most  notable  men  in 
Paris.  Representing  the  company  with  the  workmen, 
he  would  ere  long  be  worshipped  by  them  as  a  natural 
consequence,  and  by  this  means  he  would  be  able,  later, 
to  push  his  way  into  the  General  Council,  and  into  the 
position  of  a  deputy. 


Frederick's  ears  tingled.  Whence  came  this  good- 
will? He  became  confused  in  returning  thanks.  It 
was  not  necessary,  the  banker  said,  that  he  should  be 
dependent  on  anyone.  The  best  course  was  to  take 
some  shares,  "  a  splendid  investment  besides,  for  your 
capital  guarantees  your  position,  as  your  position  does 
your  capital." 

"  About  how  much  should  it  amount  to?  "  said  Fred- 

"  Oh,  well !  whatever  you  please — from  forty  to 
sixty  thousand  francs,  I  suppose." 

This  sum  was  so  trifling  in  M.  Dambreuse's  eyes, 
and  his  authority  was  so  great,  that  the  young  man  de- 
termined immediately  to  sell  a  farm. 

He  accepted  the  offer.  M.  Dambreuse  was  to  select 
one  of  his  disengaged  days  for  an  appointment  when 
they  might  finish  their  arrangements. 

"  So  I  can  say  to  Jacques  Arnoux ?  " 

"  Anything  you  like — the  poor  chap — anything  you 
like !  " 

Frederick  wrote  to  the  Arnoux  to  make  their  minds 
easy,  and  he  despatched  the  letter  by  a  man-servant, 
who  brought  back  the  answer :  "  All  right !  "  His 
action  in  the  matter  deserved  fuller  recognition.  He 
expected  a  visit,  or,  at  least,  a  letter.  He  did  not  re- 
ceive either. 

Was  it  thoughtlessness  on  their  part,  or  was  it  inten- 
tional? Since  Madame  Arnoux  had  come  once,  what 
was  to  prevent  her  from  coming  again  ?  The  species  of 
confidence,  of  avowal,  of  which  she  had  made  him  the 
recipient  on  that  occasion,  was  nothing  better,  then, 
than  a  manoeuvre,  executed  through  interested  motives. 

"  Are  they  playing  on  me  ?  and  is  she  an  accomplice 
of  her  husband  ?  "  A  sort  of  shame,  in  spite  of  his 
desire,  prevented  him  from  going  to  their  house. 


One  morning  (three  weeks  after  their  interview), 
M.  Dambreuse  wrote  to  him,  saying  that  he  would  ex- 
pect him  the  same  day  in  an  hour's  time. 

On  the  way,  the  thought  of  Arnoux  oppressed  him 
once  more,  and,  not  having  been  able  to  discover  any 
reason  for  his  conduct,  he  was  seized  with  a  feeling  of 
wretchedness,  a  melancholy  presentiment.  In  order 
to  get  rid  of  it,  he  hailed  a  cab,  and  drove  to  the  Rue 
de  Paradis. 

Arnoux  was  away  travelling. 

"  And  Madame  ?" 

"  In  the  country,  at  the  works." 

"  When  is  Monsieur  expected  back  ?  " 

"  To-morrow,  without  fail." 

He  would  find  her  alone ;  this  was  the  opportune 
moment.  Something  imperious  seemed  to  cry  out  in 
the  depths  of  his  consciousness :  "  Go,  then,  and  see 

But  M.  Dambreuse  ?  "  Ah  !  well,  so  much  the  worse. 
I'll  say  that  I  was  ill." 

He  rushed  to  the  railway-station,  and,  as  soon  as  he 
was  in  the  carriage  : 

"  Perhaps  I  have  done  wrong.  Pshaw !  what  does 
it  matter  ?  " 

Frederick,  through  sheer  weariness,  was  lost  in  that 
languor  which  is  produced  by  the  very  excess  of  im- 
patience. Cranes  and  warehouses  presently  appeared. 
They  had  reached  Creil. 

After  crossing  the  bridge,  he  found  himself  in  an 
avenue,  on  his  right  the  ruins  of  an  abbey.  A  mill  with 
its  wheels  revolving  barred  up  the  entire  width  of 
the  second  arm  of  the  Oise,  over  which  the  factory 
projected.  Frederick  was  greatly  surprised  by  the  im- 
posing character  of  this  structure.  He  felt  more  re- 
spect for  Arnoux  on  account  of  it.  Three  paces  further 


on,  he  turned  up  an  alley,  which  had  a  grating  at  its 
lower  end. 

He  went  in.  The  doorkeeper  called  him  back,  ask- 

"  Have  you  a  permit?  " 

"  For  what  purpose  ?  " 

"  For  the  purpose  of  visiting  the  establishment." 

Frederick  said  in  a  rather  curt  tone  that  he  had 
come  to  see  M.  Arnoux. 

"  Who  is  Monsieur  Arnoux  ?  " 

"  Why,  the  chief,  the  master,  the  proprietor,  in 

"  No,  Monsieur !  These  are  Messieurs  Lebceuf  and 
Milliet's  works !  " 

Frederick  left  the  premises,  staggering  like  a 
drunken  man;  and  he  had  such  a  look  of  perplexity, 
that  on  the  Pont  de  la  Boucherie  an  inhabitant  of  the 
town,  who  was  smoking  his  pipe,  asked  whether  he  was 
looking  for  anything.  This  man  knew  where  Arnoux's 
factory  was.  It  was  situated  at  Montataire. 

Frederick  asked  whether  a  vehicle  was  to  be  got. 
He  was  told  that  the  only  place  where  he  could  find 
one  was  at  the  station.  He  went  back  there.  A  shaky- 
looking  calash,  to  which  was  yoked  an  old  horse,  with 
torn  harness  hanging  over  the  shafts,  stood  in  front  of 
the  luggage  office.  An  urchin  who  was  looking  on  of- 
fered to  go  and  find  Pere  Pilon.  In  ten  minutes'  time 
he  came  back,  and  announced  that  Pere  Pilon  was  at 
his  breakfast.  Frederick,  unable  to  bear  this  any 
longer,  walked  away.  But  the  gates  of  the  thorough- 
fare across  the  line  were  closed.  He  would  have  to 
wait  till  two  trains  had  passed.  At  last,  he  made  a 
dash  into  the  open  country. 

The  monotonous  greenery  made  it  look  like  the  cover 
of  an  immense  billiard-table.  A  little  further  on,  some 


factory  chimneys  were  smoking  close  beside  each  other. 
Long  walls  formed  irregular  lines  past  the  trees ;  and, 
further  down,  the  houses  of  the  village  could  be  seen. 

They  had  only  a  single  story,  with  staircases  con- 
sisting of  three  steps  made  of  uncemented  blocks. 

Frederick  pursued  his  way  along  the  middle  of  the 
street.  Then,  he  saw  on  his  left,  at  the  opening  of  a 
pathway,  a  large  wooden  arch,  whereon  was  traced,  in 
letters  of  gold,  the  word,  "  Faiences." 

It  was  not  without  an  object  that  Jacques  Arnoux 
had  selected  the  vicinity  of  Creil.  By  locating  his 
works  as  close  as  possible  to  the  other  works  (which 
had  long  borne  a  high  reputation),  he  had  created  a 
certain  confusion  in  the  public  mind,  with  a  favour- 
able result  so  far  as  his  own  interests  were  concerned. 

Heaps  of  white  clay  were  drying  under  sheds.  There 
were  others  in  the  open  air ;  and  in  the  midst  of  the 
yard  stood  Senecal  with  his  everlasting  blue  paletot 
lined  with  red. 

The  ex-tutor  extended  toward  Frederick  his  cold 

"  You've  come  to  see  the  master  ?    He's  not  here." 

Frederick,  nonplussed,  replied  in  a  stupefied  fashion : 

"  I  know  it."  But  the  next  moment  correcting  him- 
self :  . 

"  It  is  about  a  matter  that  concerns  Madame  Arnoux. 
Can  she  see  me  ?  " 

"  Ha !  I  have  not  seen  her  for  the  last  three  days," 
said  Senecal. 

And  he  broke  into  a  long  string  of  complaints. 
When  he  accepted  the  post  of  manager,  he  understood 
that  he  would  have  been  able  to  reside  in  Paris,  and 
not  be  forced  to  bury  himself  in  this  country  district, 
far  from  his  friends,  deprived  of  newspapers.  No 
matter!  he  had  overlooked  all  that.  But  Arnoux  did 


not  recognise  his  merits.  He  was,  moreover,  shallow 
and  retrograde — no  one  could  be  more  ignorant.  In- 
stead of  seeking  for  artistic  improvements,  it  would 
have  been  better  to  introduce  firewood  instead  of  coal 
and  gas.  The  shopkeeping  spirit  thrust  itself  in — Sen- 
ecal  laid  stress  on  the  last  words.  In  short,  he  disliked 
his  present  occupation,  and  he  all  but  appealed  to 
Frederick  to  say  a  word  in  his  behalf  that  he  might  get 
an  increase  of  salary. 

"  Make  your  mind  easy,"  said  the  other. 

He  met  nobody  on  the  staircase.  On  the  first  floor, 
he  pushed  his  way  into  an  empty  room.  It  was  the 
drawing-room.  He  called  out  at  the  top  of  his  voice. 
There  was  no  reply.  No  doubt,  the  cook  had  gone 
out,  and  so  had  the  housemaid.  At  length,  having 
reached  the  second  floor,  he  pushed  another  door  open. 
Madame  Arnoux  was  alone  in  this  room,  before  a 
press  with  a  mirror  attached.  The  belt  of  her  dressing- 
gown  hung  down  her  hips ;  one  entire  half  of  her  hair 
fell  in  a  dark  wave  over  her  right  shoulder;  and  she 
had  raised  both  arms  in  order  to  hold  up  her  chignon 
with  one  hand  and  to  put  a  pin  through  it  with  the 
other.  She  gave  an  exclamation  and  disappeared. 

Then  she  came  back  again  properly  dressed.  Her 
waist,  her  eyes,  the  rustle  of  her  dress,  her  entire  ap- 
pearance, charmed  him.  Frederick  had  to  restrain 
himself  to  keep  from  covering  her  with  kisses. 

"  I  beg  your  pardon,"  said  she,  "  but  I  could 

He  had  the  boldness  to  interrupt  her  with  these 
words : 

"  Nevertheless — you  looked  very  nice — just  now." 

She  probably  thought  this  compliment  a  little  coarse, 
for  her  cheeks  reddened.  He  was  afraid  that  he  might 
have  offended  her.  She  went  on: 


"  What  lucky  chance  has  brought  you  here  ?  " 

He  did  not  know  what  reply  to  make ;  and,  after  a 
slight  chuckle,  which  gave  him  time  for  reflection : 

"  If  I  told  you,  would  you  believe  me?" 

"  Why  not  ?  " 

Frederick  said  to  her  that  he  had  had  a  frightful 
dream  a  few  nights  before. 

"  I  dreamt  that  you  were  seriously  ill — almost  dy- 

"  Oh !  my  husband  and  I  are  never  ill." 

"I  dreamt  only  of  you,"  said  he. 

She  gazed  at  him  calmly:  "Dreams  are  not  always 

Frederick  stammered,  sought  to  find  appropriate 
words  to  express  himself  in,  and  then  plunged  into  a 
flowing  period  about  the  affinity  of  souls. 

She  listened  to  him  with  downcast  face,  while  she 
smiled  that  beautiful  smile  of  hers.  He  watched  her 
out  of  the  corner  of  his  eye  with  delight,  and  poured 
out  his  love  all  the  more  freely  through  the  easy  chan- 
nel of  a  commonplace  remark. 

She  offered  to  show  him  the  works ;  and,  as  she  per- 
sisted, he  made  no  objection. 

To  divert  his  attention  with  something  of  an  amus- 
ing nature,  she  drew  his  attention  to  the  species  of 
museum  that  decorated  the  staircase.  The  specimens, 
hung  up  against  the  wall  or  laid  on  shelves,  bore  wit- 
ness to  the  efforts  and  the  successive  fads  of  Arnoux. 
After  seeking  vainly  for  the  red  of  Chinese  copper,  he 
had  wished  to  manufacture  majolicas,  faience,  Etrus- 
can and  Oriental  ware,  and  had,  in  fact,  attempted  all 
the  improvements  which  were  realised  at  a  later  period. 

So  it  was  that  one  could  observe  in  the  series  big 
vfses  covered  with  figures  of  mandarins,  porringers  of 
shot  reddish-brown,  pots  adorned  with  Arabian  in- 


scriptions,  drinking-vessels  in  the  style  of  the  Renais- 
sance, and  large  plates  on  which  two  personages  were 
outlined  as  it  were  on  bloodstone,  in  a  delicate,  aerial 
fashion.  He  now  made  letters  for  sign-boards  and 
wine-labe1s ;  but  his  intelligence  was  not  high  enough 
to  attain  to  art,  nor  commonplace  enough  to  desire 
merely  profit ;  so  without  satisfying  anyone,  he  had 
ruined  himself. 

They  were  both  looking  at  these  things  when  Made- 
moiselle Marthe  passed. 

"  So,  then,  you  do  not  recognise  our  friend?"  said 
her  mother  to  her. 

"  Yes,  indeed,"  she  replied,  bowing  to  him,  while  her 
clear  and  sceptical  glance — the  glance  of  a  virgin — 
seemed  to  say  in  a  whisper :  "  What  are  you  coming 
here  for  ?  "  and  she  ran  up  the  steps  with  her  head 
slightly  bent  over  her  shoulder. 

Madame  Arnoux  led  Frederick  into  the  yard  at- 
tached to  the  works,  and  then  explained  to  him  in  a 
grave  tone  how  different  clays  were  ground,  cleaned, 
and  sifted. 

"  The  most  important  item  is  the  preparation  of 

And  she  brought  him  into  a  hall  filled  with  vats, 
in  which  a  vertical  axis  with  horizontal  arms  kept 
turning.  Frederick  regretted  that  he  had  not  flatly  de- 
clined her  offer  a  little  while  before. 

"  These  things  are  merely  the  slobberings,"  said  she. 

He  thought  the  word  grotesque,  and,  in  a  measure, 
unbecoming  on  her  lips. 

They  left  the  spot,  and  passed  close  to  a  ruined  hut, 
which  had  formerly  been  used  as  a  repository  for  gar- 
dening implements. 

"  It  is  no  longer  of  any  use,"  said  Madame  Arnoux. 

He  replied  in  a  tremulous  voice : 


"  Happiness  may  have  once  been  associated  with  it !  " 

The  clacking  of  the  fire-pump  drowned  his  words, 
and  they  entered  the  workshop  where  rough  drafts 
were  made. 

Men,  seated  at  a  narrow  table,  placed,  each  in  front 
of  himself  on  a  revolving  disc,  a  piece  of  paste.  Then 
each  man  with  his  left  hand  scooped  out  the  insides  of 
his  own  piece  while  smoothing  its  surface  with  the 
right ;  and  vases  could  be  seen  bursting  into  shape  like 
blossoming  flowers. 

Madame  Arnoux  had  the  moulds  for  more  difficult 
works  shown  to  him. 

In  another  portion  of  the  building,  the  threads,  the 
necks,  and  the  projecting  lines  were  being  formed.  On 
the  floor  above,  they  removed  the  seams,  and  stopped 
up  with  plaster  the  little  holes  that  had  been  left  by 
the  preceding  operations. 

At  every  opening  in  the  walls,  in  corners,  in  the 
middle  of  the  corridor,  everywhere,  earthenware  ves- 
sels stood  side  by  side. 

Frederick  began  to  feel  bored. 

"  Perhaps  these  things  are  wearisome  to  you  ?  "  said 

Fearing  lest  this  might  mean  the  termination  of  his 
visit,  he  affected,  on  the  contrary,  a  tone  of  great  en- 
thusiasm. He  even  expressed  regret  at  not  having  de- 
voted himself  to  this  branch  of  industry. 

She  appeared  surprised. 

"  Certainly !  I  should  have  been  able  to  live  near 

And  as  he  endeavoured  to  catch  her  eye,  Madame 
Arnoux,  in  order  to  avoid  him,  removed  off  a  bracket 
little  balls  of  paste,  which  had  come  from  abortive  re- 
adjustments, flattened  them  out  into  a  thin  cake,  and 
pressed  her  hand  over  them. 


"  Might  I  take  these  away  with  me?  "  said  Frederick. 

"  Good  heavens !  are  you  so  childish  ?  " 

He  was  about  to  reply  when  Senecal  came  in. 

Frederick,  annoyed  by  his  presence,  asked  Madame 
Arnoux  in  a  low  tone  whether  they  would  have  an  op- 
portunity of  seeing  the  kilns.  They  descended  to  the 
ground-floor;  and  she  was  just  explaining  the  use  of 
caskets,  when  Senecal,  who  had  followed  close  behind, 
placed  himself  between  them. 

He  continued  the  explanation  of  his  own  motion, 
expatiated  on  the  various  kinds  of  combustibles,  the 
process  of  placing  in  the  kiln,  the  pyroscopes,  the  cylin- 
drical furnaces ;  the  instruments  for  rounding,  the 
lustres,  and  the  metals,  making  a  prodigious  display  of 
chemical  terms,  such  as  "  chloride,"  "  sulphuret," 
"  borax,"  and  "  carbonate."  Frederick  did  not  under- 
stand a  single  word,  and  kept  turning  round  every 
minute  toward  Madame  Arnoux. 

"  You  are  not  listening,"  said  she.  "  Monsieur  Sene- 
cal, however,  is  very  clear.  He  understands  all  these 
things  much  better  than  I." 

The  mathematician,  flattered  by  this  eulogy,  pro- 
posed to  show  the  way  in  which  colours  were  laid  on. 
Frederick  gave  Madame  Arnoux  an  anxious,  question- 
ing look.  She  remained  impassive,  not  caring  to  be 
alone  with  him,  very  probably,  and  yet  unwilling  to 
leave  him. 

He  offered  her  his  arm. 

"  No — many  thanks !  the  staircase  is  too  narrow !  " 

And,  when  they  had  reached  the  top,  Senecal  opened 
the  door  of  an  apartment  filled  with  women. 

They  were  handling  brushes,  phials,  shells,  and 
plates  of  glass.  Along  the  cornice,  close  to  the  wall, 
extended  boards  with  figures  engraved  on  them ;  scraps 
of  thin  paper  floated  about,  and  a  melting-stove  emitted 


fumes  that  made  the  temperature  oppressive,  while 
there  mingled  with  it  the  odour  of  turpentine. 

The  workwomen  were  nearly  all  poorly  dressed.  It 
was  noticeable,  however,  that  one  of  them  wore  a  Mad- 
ras handkerchief  and  long  earrings.  Of  slight  frame, 
and  yet  plump,  she  had  large  black  eyes  and  the  fleshy 
lips  of  a  negress.  Her  ample  bosom  projected  from 
under  her  chemise,  which  was  fastened  round  her  waist 
by  the  string  of  her  petticoat;  and,  with  one  elbow  on 
the  board  of  the  work-table  and  the  other  arm  hanging 
down,  she  gazed  vaguely  at  the  open  country,  a  long 
distance  away.  Beside  her  were  a  bottle  of  wine  and 
some  pork  chops. 

The  regulations  forbade  eating  in  the  work-shops,  a 
rule  intended  to  secure  cleanliness  at  work  and  to  keep 
the  hands  in  a  healthy  condition. 

Senecal,  through  a  sense  of  duty  or  a  desire  to  ex- 
ercise despotic  authority,  shouted  out  to  her,  while 
pointing  toward  a  framed  placard : 

"  I  say,  you  girl  from  Bordeaux  over  there !  read 
out  for  me  Article  Nine !  " 

"  Well,  what  then  ?  " 

"  What  then,  Mademoiselle  ?  You'll  have  to  pay  a 
fine  of  three  francs." 

She  looked  him  straight  in  the  face  in  an  impudent 

"  What  does  that  matter  to  me  ?  The  roaster  will 
take  off  your  fine  when  he  comes  back !  I  laugh  at  you, 
my  good  man !  " 

Senecal,  who  was  walking  with  his  hands  behind  his 
back,  like  an  usher  in  the  study-room,  contented  him- 
self with  smiling. 

"  Article  Thirteen,  insubordination,  ten  francs !  " 

The  girl  from  Bordeaux  resumed  her  work.  Ma- 
dame Arnoux,  through  a  sense  of  propriety,  said  noth- 


ing ;  but  her  brows  contracted.    Frederick  murmured  : 
"  Ha !  you  are  very  severe  for  a  democrat !  " 
The  other  replied  in  a  magisterial  tone : 
"  Democracy  is  not  the  unbounded  license  of  indi- 
vidualism.    It  is  the  equality  of  all  belonging  to  the 
same  community  before   the  law,  the  distribution  of 
work,  order." 

"  You  are  forgetting  humanity !  "  said  Frederick. 
Madame  Arnoux  took  his  arm.  Senecal,  perhaps 
offended  by  this  token  of  silent  approbation,  went  away. 
Frederick  felt  an  immense  relief.  Since  morning  he 
had  been  looking  for  the  opportunity  to  declare  itself; 
now  it  had  arrived.  Besides,  Madame  Arnoux's  spon- 
taneous movements  seemed  to  him  to  contain  promises ; 
and  he  asked  her,  as  if  on  the  pretext  of  warming  their 
feet,  to  come  up  to  her  room.  But,  when  he  was  seated 
close  beside  her,  he  began  once  more  to  feel  embar- 
rassed. He  was  at  a  loss  for  a  starting-point.  Senecal, 
luckily,  suggested  an  idea  to  his  mind. 

"  Nothing  could  be  more  stupid,"  said  he,  "  than 
this  punishment !  " 

Madame  Arnoux  replied :  "  There  are  certain  severe 
measures  which  are  unavoidable !  " 

"  What !  you  who  are  so  good !  Oh !  I  am  mis- 
taken, for  you  sometimes  take  pleasure  in  making  other 
people  suffer !  " 

"  I  don't  understand  riddles,  my  friend !  " 
And  her  stern  look,  still  more  than  the  words  she 
used,  checked  him.  Frederick  was  determined  to  go 
on.  A  volume  of  De  Musset  chanced  to  be  on  the 
chest  of  drawers ;  he  turned  over  some  pages,  then  be- 
gan to  talk  about  love,  about  his  hopes  and  his  trans- 

All  this,  according  to  Madame  Arnoux,  was  criminal 
or  factitious.  The  young  man  felt  wounded  by  this 


negative  attitude  with  regard  to  his  passion,  and,  in 
order  to  combat  it,  he  cited,  by  way  of  proof,  the  sui- 
cides which  they  read  about  every  day  in  the  newspa- 
pers, extolled  the  great  literary  types,  Phedre,  Dido, 
Romeo,  Desgrieux.  He  talked  as  if  he  meant  to  do 
away  with  himself. 

He  wanted  to  cast  himself  at  her  feet.  There  was  a 
creaking  sound  in  the  lobby,  and  he  did  not  dare  to 
carry  out  his  intention. 

He  was,  moreover,  restrained  by  a  kind  of  religious 
awe.  That  robe,  mingling  with  the  surrounding 
shadows,  appeared  to  him  boundless,  infinite,  impos- 
sible to  touch ;  and  for  this  very  reason  his  desire  be- 
came intensified.  But  the  fear  of  doing  too  much,  and, 
again,  of  not  doing  enough,  deprived  him  of  all  judg- 

"  If  she  dislikes  me,"  he  thought,  "  let  her  drive  me 
away ;  if  she  cares  for  me,  let  her  encourage  me." 

He  said,  with  a  sigh  : 

"  So,  then,  you  don't  admit  that  a  man  may  love — 
a  woman  ?  " 

Madame  Arnoux  replied : 

"  Assuming  that  she  is  at  liberty  to  marry,  he  may 
marry  her ;  when  she  belongs  to  another,  he  should 
keep  away  from  her." 

"  So  happiness  is  impossible  ?  " 

"  No !  But  it  is  never  to  be  found  in  falsehood, 
mental  anxiety,  and  remorse." 

"  What  does  it  matter,  if  one  is  compensated  by  the 
enjoyment  of  supreme  bliss?" 

"  The  experience  is  too  costly." 

Then  he  sought  to  assail  her  with  satire. 

"  Would  not  virtue  in  that  case  be  merely  cow- 
ardice? " 

"  Say    rather,    clear-sightedness.      Even    for    those 


women  who  might  forget  duty  or  religion,  simple  good 
sense  is  sufficient.  A  solid  foundation  for  wisdom  may 
be  found  in  self-love." 

"  Ah,  what  shopkeeping  maxims  these  are  of 
yours !  " 

"  But  I  don't  pretend  to  be  a  fine  lady." 

At  that  moment  the  little  boy  rushed  in. 

"  Mamma,  are  you  coming  to  dinner  ?  " 

"  Yes,  in  a  moment." 

Frederick  arose.  At  the  same  instant,  Marthe  made 
her  appearance. 

He  could  not  make  up  his  mind  to  go  away,  and, 
with  a  look  of  entreaty  : 

"  These  women  you  speak  of  are  very  unfeeling, 
then  ?  " 

"  No,  but  deaf  when  it  is  necessary  to  be  so." 

And  she  stood  on  the  threshold  of  her  room  with 
her  two  children  beside  her.  He  bowed  without  saying 
a  word.  She  mutely  returned  his  salutation. 

His  first  feeling  was  an  unspeakable  astonishment. 
He  felt  crushed  by  this  mode  of  impressing  on  him  the 
emptiness  of  his  hopes.  It  seemed  to  him  as  if  he  were 
lost,  like  a  man  who  has  fallen  to  the  bottom  of  an 
abyss  and  knows  that  no  help  will  come,  and  that  he 
must  die.  He  walked  on,  however,  but  at  random, 
without  looking  before  him. 

The  railway  lamps  traced  on  the  horizon  a  line  of 
flames.  He  arrived  just  as  the  train  was  starting,  let 
himself  be  pushed  into  a  carriage,  and  very  soon  fell 

An  hour  later  on  the  boulevards,  the  gaiety  of  Paris 
by  night  made  his  journey  all  at  once  recede  into  an 
already  far-distant  past.  He  resolved  to  be  strong, 
and  relieved  his  heart  by  vilifying  Madame  Arnoux 
with  insulting  epithets. 


"  She  is  an  idiot,  a  goose,  a  mere  animal ;  let  us  not 
waste  another  thought  on  her !  " 

When  he  got  home,  he  found  in  his  study  a  letter  of 
eight  pages  on  blue  glazed  paper,  with  the  initials 
"  R.  A." 

It  began  with  friendly  reproaches. 

"  What  has  become  of  you,  my  dear  ?  I  am  getting 
quite  bored." 

But  the  handwriting  was  so  illegible  that  Frederick 
was  about  to  fling  away  the  entire  bundle  of  sheets, 
when  he  noticed  in  the  postscript  the  following  words : 

"  I  count  on  you  to  come  to-morrow  and  drive  me 
to  the  races." 

What  was  the  meaning  of  this  invitation?  Was  it 
another  trick  of  the  Marechale?  But  a  woman  does 
not  make  a  fool  of  the  same  man  twice  without  some 
object;  and,  seized  with  curiosity,  he  read  the  letter 
over  again  attentively. 

Frederick  was  able  to  distinguish  "  Misunderstand- 
ing— to  have  taken  a  wrong  path — disillusions — poor 
children  that  we  are ! — like  two  rivers  that  join  each 
other !  "  etc. 

He  held  the  sheets  for  a  long  time  between  his  fin- 
gers. They  had  the  odour  of  orris ;  and  there  was  in 
the  form  of  the  characters  and  the  irregular  spaces  be- 
tween the 'lines  something  suggestive,  as  it  were,  of  a 
disorderly  toilet,  that  fired  his  blood. 

"What  reason  have  I  for  not  going?"  he  said  to 
himself  at  length.  "  But  if  Madame  Arnoux  were  to 
know  about  it  ?  Well !  let  her  know !  So  much  the 
better!  and  let  her  feel  jealous  over  it!  I  shall  thus  be 
avenged ! " 



ROSANETTE  was  eagerly  waiting  for  him. 
"  This  is  nice  of  you !  "  she  said,  fixing  her  fine 
eyes  on  his   face,   with  an  expression  at  once 
tender  and  mirthful. 

When  she  had  fastened  her  bonnet-strings,  she  sat 
down  on  the  divan,  and  remained  silent. 

"  Shall  we  go  ?  "  said  Frederick.  She  looked  at  the 
clock  on  the  mantelpiece. 

"  Not  yet !  not  before  half-past  one !  "  as  if  she  had 
imposed  this  limit  to  her  indecision. 

At  last,  when  the  hour  had  struck : 

"Ah!  well,  andiamo,  caro  inio!"  And  she  gave  a 
final  touch  to  her  headbands,  and  left  directions  for 

"  Will  Madame  be  home  to  dinner?  " 

"  Why  should  we,  indeed  ?  Let  us  dine  together 
somewhere — at  the  Cafe  Anglais,  wherever  you  wish." 

"Beit  so!" 

Her  little  dogs  began  yelping  around  her. 

"  We  can  take  them  with  us,  can't  we  ?  " 

Frederick  carried  them  himself  to  the  vehicle.  It 
was  a  hired  berlin  with  two  post-horses  and  a  postilion. 
His  man-servant  was  in  the  back  seat.  The  Marechale 
appeared  satisfied  with  his  attentions.  Then,  as  soon 
as  she  had  seated  herself,  she  asked  him  whether  he 
had  been  recently  at  the  Arnoux'. 

"  Not  for  the  past  month,"  said  Frederick. 


"  As  for  me,  I  met  him  the  day  before  yesterday. 
He  would  have  even  come  to-day,  but  he  has  all  sorts 
of  troubles — another  lawsuit — I  don't  know  what.  He 
is  a  queer  man !  " 

Frederick  inquired  with  an  air  of  indirference : 

"  Now  that  I  think  of  it,  do  you  still  see — what's 
that  his  name  is  ? — 'that  ex-vocalist — Delinar  ?  " 

She  replied  dryly : 

"  No ;  that's  all  over." 

So  it  w-as  evident  that  there  had  been  a  rupture  be- 
tween them.  Frederick  derived  some  hope  from  this 

They  descended  the  Quartier  Breda  at  an  easy  pace. 
Frederick  let  himself  jog  up  and  down  with  the  rock- 
ing of  the  carriage-straps.  The  Marechale  turned  her 
head  to  the  right  and  to  the  left  with  a  smile  on  her 

Her  straw  hat  of  mother-of-pearl  colour  was 
trimmed  with  black  lace.  The  hood  of  her  bournous 
floated  in  the  wind,  and  she  sheltered  herself  from  the 
rays  of  the  sun  under  a  parasol  of  lilac  satin  pointed 
at  the  top  like  a  pagoda. 

"  What  dear  little  fingers !  "  said  Frederick,  softly 
taking  her  other  hand,  her  left  being  adorned  with  a 
gold  bracelet  in  the  form  of  a  curb-chain. 

"  I  say !  that's  pretty !     Where  did  it  come  from  ?  " 

"  Oh !  I  have  had  that  a  very  long  time,"  said  the 

The  young  man  did  not  challenge  this  hypocritical 
answer  in  any  way.  He  preferred  to  profit  by  the  cir- 
cumstance. And  still  holding  the  wrist,  he  pressed  his 
lips  on  it  between  the  glove  and  the  cuff. 

"  Stop !     People  will  see  us !  " 

"  Pooh  !     What  does  that  signify  ?  " 

After  passing  by   the   Place   de   la   Concorde,   they 


drove  along  the  Quai  de  la  Conference  and  the  Quai 
de  Billy,  where  they  noticed  a  cedar  of  Lebanon  in  a 
garden.  Rosanette  believed  that  Lebanon  was  situated 
in  China ;  she  laughed  herself  at  her  own  ignorance, 
and  asked  Frederick  to  give  her  lessons  in  geography. 
Then,  leaving  the  Trocadero  at  the  right,  they  crossed 
the  Pont  de  Jena,  and  drew  up  in  the  middle  of  the 
Champ  de  Mars,  near  some  other  vehicles  already  in 
the  Hippodrome. 

The  grass  hillocks  were  covered  with  working 
people.  Some  spectators  might  be  seen  on  the  balcony 
of  the  Military  School ;  and  the  two  pavilions  outside 
the  weighing-room,  the  two  galleries  contained  within 
its  enclosure,  and  another  in  front  of  that  of  the  king, 
were  filled  with  a  fashionably  dressed  crowd  whose  de- 
portment showed  their  regard  for  this  as  yet  novel 
form  of  amusement. 

The  public  around  the  course,  more  select  at  this 
period,  had  a  less  vulgar  aspect.  It  was  the  era  of 
trouser-straps,  velvet  collars,  and  white  gloves.  The 
ladies,  attired  in  brilliant  colours,  displayed  long- 
waisted  gowns;  and  seated  on  the  tiers  of  the  stands, 
they  formed,  so  to  speak,  immense  groups  of  flowers, 
spotted  here  and  there  with  the  black  of  the  men's 
costumes.  But  every  glance  was  directed  toward  the 
celebrated  Algerian  Bou-Maza,  who  sat,  impassive, 
between  two  staff  officers  in  one  of  the  private  gal- 
leries. That  of  the  Jockey  Club  contained  none  but 
grave-looking  gentlemen. 

On  every  side  was  a  great  murmur.  The  municipal 
guards  passed  to  and  fro.  A  bell,  hung  from  a  post 
covered  with  figures,  began  ringing.  Five  horses  ap- 
peared, and  the  spectators  in  the  galleries  resumed 
their  seats. 

Meanwhile,  big  clouds  descended  with  their  winding 


outlines  on  the  tops  of  the  elms  opposite.  Rosanette 
was  afraid  that  it  would  rain. 

"  I  have  umbrellas,"  said  Frederick,  "  and  every- 
thing that  we  need  for  our  diversion,"  he  added,  lifting 
up  the  chest,  in  which  there  was  a  stock  of  provisions 
in  a  basket. 

"  Bravo !  we  understand  each  other !  " 

"  And  we'll  understand  each  other  still  better,  shall 
we  not  ?  " 

"  That  may  be,"  she  said,  colouring. 

A  red  flag  was  lowered.  Then  five  jockeys  bent  over 
the  bristling  manes,  and  off  they  went.  At  first  they 
pressed  close  to  one  another  in  a  single  mass ;  this  pres- 
ently stretched  out  and  became  cut  up.  The  jockey  in 
the  yellow  jacket  came  near  falling  in  the  middle  of 
the  first  round;  for  a  long  time  it  was  uncertain 
whether  Filly  or  Tibi  should  take  the  lead ;  then  Tom 
Thumb  shot  in  front.  But  Clubstick,  who  had  been  in 
the  rear  since  the  start,  came  up  with  the  others  and 
outstripped  them,  reaching  the  winning-post  first,  and 
beating  Sir  Charles  by  two  lengths.  It  was  a  surprise. 
There  was  a  shout  of  applause ;  the  planks  shook  with 
the  stamping  of  feet. 

"  This  is  amusing,"  said  the  Marechale.  "  I  love 
you,  darling !  " 

Frederick  no  longer  doubted  that  his  happiness  was 
secure.  Rosanette's  words  were  a  confirmation  of  it. 

A  hundred  paces  away  from  him,  in  a  four-wheeled 
cabriolet,  a  lady  could  be  seen.  She  stretched  her  head 
out  of  the  carriage-door,  and  then  quickly  drew  .it  in 
again.  This  movement  was  repeated  several  times. 
Frederick  could  not  distinguish  her  face.  He  had  a 
strong  suspicion,  however,  that  it  was  Madame  Ar- 
noux.  And  yet  this  seemed  impossible!  Why  should 
she  be  there? 


He  stepped  out  of  his  own  vehicle  on  the  pretence 
of  strolling  into  the  weighing-room. 

"  You  are  not  very  gallant !  "  said  Rosanette. 

He  paid  no  heed  to  her,  and  went  on.  The  four- 
wheeled  cabriolet,  turning  back,  broke  into  a  trot. 

Frederick  at  the  same  moment  found  himself  but- 
ton-holed by  Cisy. 

"  Good-morrow,  my  dear  boy !  how  are  you  getting 
on  ?  Hussonnet  is  over  there !  Don't  you  hear  me  ?  " 

Frederick  tried  to  shake  him  off  in  order  to  get  up 
with  the  four-wheeled  cabriolet.  The  Marechale  beck- 
oned to  him  to  come  to  her.  Cisy  saw  her,  and  obsti- 
nately persisted  in  wishing  her  good-day. 

Since  the  termination  of  the  regular  period  of 
mourning  for  his  grandmother,  he  had  realised  his 
ideal,  succeeded  in  "  getting  the  proper  stamp."  A 
Scotch  plaid  waistcoat,  a  short  coat,  large  bows  over 
the  pumps,  and  an  entrance-card  stuck  in  the  ribbon  of 
his  hat ;  nothing,  in  fact,  was  wanting  to  produce  what 
he  described  as  chic — a  chic  characterised  by  Anglo- 
mania and  the  swagger  of  the  musketeer.  Leaning 
against  the  Marechale's  carriage-door  on  one  elbow,  he 
kept  talking  nonsense,  with  the  handle  of  his  walking- 
stick  in  his  mouth,  his  legs  wide  apart,  and  his  back 
stretched  out.  Frederick,  standing  beside  him,  smoked, 
while  endeavouring  to  make  out  what  had  become  of 
the  cabriolet. 

The  bell  having  rung,  Cisy  took  himself  off,  to  the 
great  delight  of  Rosanette,  who  said  he  bored  her  to 

The  second  race  had  nothing  special  about  it ; 
neither  had  the  third,  save  that  a  man  was  thrown 
over  the  shaft  of  a  cart  while  it  was  taking  place. 
The  fourth,  in  which  eight  horses  contested  the  City 
Stakes,  was  more  interesting. 


The  spectators  in  the  gallery  had  clambered  to  the 
top  of  their  seats.  The  others,  standing  up  in  the 
vehicles,  followed  with  opera-glasses  in  their  hands 
the  movements  of  the  jockeys.  They  started  out  like 
red,  yellow,  white,  or  blue  spots  across  the  entire 
space  occupied  by  the  crowd  that  had  gathered  around 
the  ring  of  the  hippodrome.  At  a  distance,  their  speed 
did  not  appear  to  be  very  great;  at  the  opposite  side 
of  the  Champ  de  Mars,  they  seemed  even  to  be  slack- 
ening their  pace,  and  to  be  merely  slipping  along  in 
such  a  way  that  the  horses'  bellies  touched  the  ground 
without  their  outstretched  legs  bending  at  all.  But, 
coming  back  at  a  more  rapid  stride,  they  looked 
bigger;  they  cut  the  air  in  their  wild  gallop.  The 
sun's  rays  quivered ;  pebbles  went  flying  about  under 
their  hoofs.  The  wind,  blowing  out  the  jockeys' 
jackets,  made  them  flutter  like  veils.  Each  of  them 
lashed  the  animal  he  rode  with  great  blows  of  his 
whip  to  spur  him  on  to  the  goal.  One  swept  away 
the  figures,  another  was  hoisted  off  his  saddle,  and,  in 
the  midst  of  a  burst  of  applause,  the  victorious  horse 
dragged  his  feet  to  the  weighing-room,  all  covered 
with  sweat,  his  knees  stiffened,  his  neck  and  shoulders 
bent  down,  while  his  rider,  looking  as  if  he  were  ex- 
piring in  his  saddle,  clung  to  the  animal's  flanks. 

The  final  start  was  retarded  by  a  dispute  which  had 
arisen.  The  crowd,  getting  tired,  began  to  scatter. 
Groups  of  men  were  chatting  at  the  lower  end  of  each 
gallery.  The  talk  was  of  a  free-and-easy  description. 
Some  fashionable  ladies  left,  scandalised  by  seeing  fast 
women  in  their  immediate  vicinity. 

There  were  also  some  ladies  who  appeared  at  public 
balls,  some  light-comedy  actresses  of  the  boulevards, 
and  it  was  not  the  best-looking  that  got  the  most  ap- 
preciation. Madame  de  Remoussat.  who  had  become 


fashionable  by  means  of  a  notorious  trial  in  which  she 
figured,  sat  enthroned  on  the  seat  of  a  brake  in  com- 
pany with  some  Americans ;  and  Therese  Bachelu,  with 
her  look  of  a  Gothic  virgin,  filled  with  her  dozen  fur- 
belows the  interior  of  a  trap  which  had,  in  place  of  an 
apron,  a  flower-stand  filled  with  roses.  The  Marechale 
was  jealous  of  these  magnificent  displays.  In  order  to 
attract  attention,  she  began  to  make  vehement  gestures 
and  speak  in  a  very  loud  voice. 

Gentlemen,  recognising  her,  bowed.  She  returned 
their  salutations  while  telling  Frederick  their  names. 
They  were  all  counts,  viscounts,  dukes,  and  marquises, 
and  he  carried  a  high  head,  for  in  all  eyes  he  could  read 
a  certain  respect  for  his  good  fortune. 

Cisy  had  a  no  less  happy  air  in  the  midst  of  the 
circle  of  mature  men  that  surrounded  him.  Their  faces 
wore  cynical  smiles  above  their  cravats,  as  if  they  were 
laughing  at  him.  At  length  he  gave  a  tap  to  the  hand 
of  the  oldest  of  them,  and  made  his  way  toward  the 

She  was  eating,  with  an  affectation  of  gluttony,  a 
slice  of  pate  de  foie  gras.  Frederick,  in  order  to  please 
her,  followed  her  example,  with  a  bottle  of  wine  on 
his  knees. 

The  four-wheeled  cabriolet  reappeared.  It  was  Ma- 
dame Arnoux !  Her  face  was  startlingly  pale. 

"  Give  me  some  champagne,"  said  Rosanette. 

And,  lifting  up  her  glass,  full  to  the  brim,  as  high 
as  possible,  she  exclaimed : 

"  Look  over  there !  See  my  protector's  wife,  one  of 
the  virtuous  women !  " 

There  was  a  great  burst  of  laughter  all  round  her; 
and  the  cabriolet  disappeared  from  view.  Frederick 
tugged  impatiently  at  her  dress,  and  was  on  the  point 
of  flying  into  a  passion.  But  Cisy  was  there,  in  the 


same  attitude  as  before,  and,  with  increased  assurance, 
he  invited  Rosanette  to  dine  with  him  that  very 

"  Impossible !  "  she  replied ;  "  we're  going  together 
to  the  Cafe  Anglais." 

Frederick,  as  if  he  had  heard  nothing,  kept  silent; 
and  Cisy  quitted  the  Marechale  with,  a  look  of  disap- 
pointment on  his  face. 

While  he  had  been  talking  to  her  at  the  right-hand 
door  of  the  carriage,  Hussonnet  appeared  at  the  oppo- 
site side, 'and,  catching  the  words  "  Cafe  Anglais  ": 

"  It's  a  nice  establishment ;  suppose  we  have  a  bite 
there,  eh  ?  " 

"  Just  as  you  like,"  said  Frederick,  who,  sunk  in  the 
corner  of  the  berlin,  was  gazing  at  the  horizon  as  the 
four-wheeled  cabriolet  vanished  from  his  sight,  feel- 
ing that  an  irreparable  thing  had  happened,  and  his 
great  love  ended.  And  the  other  woman  was  there 
beside  him,  the  gay  and  easy  love !  But,  worn  out,  full 
of  conflicting  desires,  and  no  longer  even  knowing  what 
he  wanted,  he  was  possessed  by  a  feeling  of  infinite 
sadness,  a  longing  to  die. 

The  crush  of  vehicles  increased,  and  Hussonnet  got 
lost  in  it. 

"  Well !  so  much  the  better !  "  said  Frederick. 

"  We  like  to  be  alone  better — don't  we  ?  "  said  the 
Marechale,  as  she  placed  her  hand  in  his. 

Then  there  swept  past  him  with  a  glitter  of  copper 
and  steel  a  magnificent  landau  to  which  were  yoked 
four  horses  driven  in  the  Daumont  style  by  two  jockeys 
in  velvet  vests  with  gold  fringes.  Madame  Dam- 
breuse  was  by  her  husband's  side,  and  Martinon  was 
on  the  seat  facing  them.  All  three  gazed  at  Frederick 
in  astonishment. 

"  They  have  recognised  me !  "  said  he  to  himself. 


Rosanette  wished  to  stop  in  order  to  get  a  better 
view  of  the  people  driving  away  from  the  course.  Ma- 
dame Arnotix  might  again  make  her  appearance !  He 
called  out  to  the  postilion  : 

"  Go  on  !  go  on  !  forward  !  "  And  the  berlin  dashed 
toward  the  Champs-Elysees  in  the  midst  of  the  other 
vehicles — calashes,  britzkas,  wurths,  tandems,  tilburies, 
dog-carts,  tilted  carts  with  leather  curtains,  in  which 
workmen  in  a  jovial  mood  were  singing,  or  one-horse 
chaises  driven  by  fathers  of  families. 

Frederick  and  Rosanette  did  not  say  a  word  to  each 
other,  feeling  a  sort  of  dizziness  at  seeing  all  these 
wheels  continually  revolving  close  to  them. 

At  times,  the  rows  of  carriages,  too  closely  pressed 
together,  stopped  all  at  the  same  time  in  several  lines. 
Then  they  remained  side  by  side,  and  their  occupants 
scanned  one  another.  Over  the  sides  of  panels  adorned 
with  coat-of-arms  indifferent  glances  were  cast  on 
the  crowd.  Eyes  full  of  envy  gleamed  from  the  in- 
teriors of  hackney-coaches.  Depreciatory  smiles  re- 
sponded to  the  haughty  manner  in  the  carriage  of  a 
head.  Mouths  gaping  wide  expressed  idiotic  admira- 
tion ;  and,  here  and  there,  some  lounger,  in  the  middle 
of  the  road,  jumped  back  with  a  bound,  in  order  to 
avoid  a  rider  who  had  been  galloping  through  the 
midst  of  the  vehicles,  and  had  succeeded  in  getting 
away  from  them.  Then,  everything  set  itself  in  mo- 
tion once  more;  the  coachmen  let  go  the  reins,  and 
lowered  their  long  whips ;  the  horses,  excited,  shook 
their  curb-chains,  and  flung  foam  around  them ;  and 
the  cruppers  and  the  harness  getting  moist,  were 
smoking  with  the  watery  evaporation,  through  which 
struggled  the  rays  of  the  sinking  sun.  Passing  under 
the  Arc  de  Triomphe,  there  stretched  out  at  the  height 
of  a  man  a  reddish  light,  which  shed  a  glittering 


lustre  on  the  naves  of  the  wheels,  the  handles  of  the 
carriage-doors,  the  ends  of  the  shafts,  and  the  rings 
of  the  carriage-beds ;  and  on  the  two  sides  of  the  great 
avenue — like  a  river  in  which  manes,  garments,  and 
human  heads  were  undulating — the  trees,  all  glitter- 
ing with  r?in,  rose  up  like  two  green  walls.  The  blue 
of  the  sky  overhead,  reappearing  in  certain  places,  had 
the  soft  hue  of  satin. 

Then  Frederick  recalled  the  days,  already  far  dis- 
tant, when  he  yearned  for  the  inexpressible  happiness 
of  finding  himself  in  one  of  these  carriages  by  the  side 
of  one  of  these  women.  He  had  attained  to  this  bliss, 
and  yet  he  was  not  thereby  one  jot  the  happier. 

When  they  reached  the  Chinese  Baths,  as  there  were 
holes  in  the  pavement,  the  berlin  slackened  its  pace. 
A  man  in  a  hazel-coloured  paletot  was  walking  on  the 
edge  of  the  footpath.  A  splash,  spurting  out  from  un- 
der the  springs,  showed  itself  on  his  back.  The  man 
turned  round  in  a  rage.  Frederick  grew  pale ;  it  was 

At  the  door  of  the  Cafe  Anglais  he  dismissed  the 
carriage.  Rosanette  had  gone  in  before  him  while  he 
was  paying  the  postilion. 

He  found  her  subsequently  on  the  stairs  chatting 
with  a  gentleman.  Frederick  took  her  arm ;  but  in  the 
lobby  a  second  gentleman  stopped  her. 

"  Go  on,"  said  she ;  "  I  am  at  your  service." 

And  he  entered  the  private  room  alone.  Through 
the  two  open  windows  people  could  be  seen  at  the  case- 
ments of  the  other  houses  opposite.  Large  watery 
masses  were  glistening  on  the  pavement  as  it  began  to 
dry,  and  a  magnolia,  on  the  side  of  a  balcony,  shed  a 
perfume  through  the  apartment.  This  fragrance  and 
freshness  had  a  relaxing  effect  on  his  nerves.  He  sank 
down  on  the  red  divan  underneath  the  glass. 


The  Marechale  entered  the  room,  and,  kissing  him 
on  the  forehead : 

"  Poor  pet !  something  is  annoying  you !  " 

"  Perhaps  so,"  was  his  reply. 

"  You  are  not  alone ;  take  heart !  " — which  was  as 
much  as  to  say :  "  Let  us  each  forget  our  own  troubles 
in  a  bliss  which  we  shall  enjoy  in  common." 

Then  she  placed  the  petal  of  a  flower  between  her 
lips  and  extended  it  toward  him  so  that  he  might  peck 
at  it.  This  movement,  full  of  grace  and  of  almost 
voluptuous  gentleness,  had  a  softening  effect  on  Fred- 

"  Why  do  you  give  me  pain  ?  "  said  he,  thinking  of 
Madame  Arnoux. 

"  I  give  you  pain  ?  " 

And,  standing  before  him,  she  gazed  at  him  with  her 
lashes  drawn  close  together  and  her  two  hands  resting 
on  his  shoulders. 

All  his  virtue,  all  his  rancour  gave  way  before  the 
utter  weakness  of  his  will. 

He  continued : 

"  Because  you  won't  love  me,"  and  he  took  her  on  his 

She  yielded  to  him.  He  pressed  his  two  hands  round 
her  waist.  The  crackling  sound  of  her  silk  dress  in- 
flamed him. 

"  Where  are  they  ?  "  said  Hussonnet's  voice  in  the 
lobby  outside. 

The  Marechale  rose  abruptly,  and  walked  across  to 
the  other  side  of  the  room,  where  she  sat  down  with  her 
back  to  the  door. 

She  ordered  oysters,  and  they  seated  themselves  at 

Hussonnet  was  not  amusing.  By  dint  of  writing 
every  day  on  all  sorts  of  subjects,  reading  many  news- 


papers,  listening  to  a  great  number  of  discussions,  and 
uttering  paradoxes  for  the  purpose  of  dazzling  people, 
he  had  in  the  end  lost  the  exact  idea  of  things,  deluding 
himself  with  his  own  feeble  fireworks.  The  embarrass- 
ments of  a  life  which  had  formerly  been  frivolous,  but 
which  was  now  full  of  difficulty,  kept  him  in  a  state  of 
perpetual  agitation ;  and  his  impotency,  which  he  did 
not  wish  to  avow,  rendered  him  snappish  and  sarcastic. 
Referring  to  a  new  ballet  entitled  Ozdi,  he  gave  a  thor- 
ough blowing-up  to  the  dancing,  and  then,  when  the 
opera  was  in  question,  he  attacked  the  Italians,  now  re- 
placed by  a  company  of  Spanish  actors. 

Frederick  was  quite  bored.  In  an  outburst  of  im- 
patience he  pushed  his  foot  under  the  table,  and  pressed 
it  on  one  of  the  little  dogs. 

Thereupon  both  animals  began  barking  in  a  horrible 

"  You  ought  to  have  them  sent  home !  "  said  he,  ab- 

Rosanette  did  not  know  anyone  to  whom  she  could 
intrust  them. 

Then,  he  turned  round  to  the  Bohemian : 

"  Look  here,  Hussonnet ;  sacrifice  yourself !  " 

"  Certainly,  my  boy !  " 

Hussonnet  set  off,  without  even  requiring  to  have 
an  appeal  made  to  him. 

How  could  they  repay  him  for  his  kindness  ?  Fred- 
erick did  not  bestow  a  thought  on  it.  He  was  begin- 
ning to  rejoice  at  finding  himself  alone  with  her,  when 
a  waiter  entered. 

"  Madame,  somebody  is  asking  for  you!  " 

"  What !  again  ?  " 

"  However,  I  must  see  who  it  is,"  said  Rosanette. 

He  was  thirsting  for  her ;  he  wanted  her.  This  dis- 
appearance seemed  to  him  an  act  of  prevarication,  al- 


most  a  piece  of  rudeness.  What,  then,  did  she  mean? 
Was  it  not  enough  to  have  insulted  Madame  Arnoux  ? 
So  much  for  the  latter,  all  the  same !  Now  he  hated 
all  women  ;  and  he  felt  the  tears  choking  him,  for  his 
love  had  been  misunderstood  and  his  desire  eluded. 

The  Marechale  returned,  and  presented  Cisy. 

"  I  have  invited  Monsieur.  I  have  done  right,  have 
I  not?" 

"  Oh !  certainly." 

Frederick,  with  the  smile  of  a  criminal  about  to  be 
executed,  requested  the  gentleman  to  take  a  seat. 

The  Marechale  began  to  run  her  eye  over  the  bill  of 
fare,  stopping  at  every  fantastic  name. 

"  Suppose  we  eat  a  turban  of  rabbits  a  la  Richelieu 
and  a  pudding  a  la  d 'Orleans?  " 

"  Oh !  not  Orleans,  pray  !  "  exclaimed  Cisy,  who  was 
\  Legitimist,  and  thought  of  making  a  pun. 

"Would  you  prefer  a  turbot  d  la  Chambord?"  she 
next  inquired. 

Frederick  was  disgusted  with  this  display  of  polite- 

The  Marechale  finally  decided  to  order  a  simple  filet 
of  beef  cut  up  into  steaks,  some  crayfishes,  truffles,  a 
pine-apple  salad,  and  vanilla  ices. 

"  We'll  see  what  next.  That  will  do  for  the  present ! 
Ah!  I  was  forgetting!  Bring  me  a  sausage! — not 
with  garlic !" 

And  she  called  the  waiter  "  young  man,"  struck  her 
glass  with  her  knife,  and  flung  up  the  crumbs  of  her 
bread  to  the  ceiling.  She  wished  to  have  some  Bur- 
gundy immediately. 

"  It  is  not  taken  in  the  beginning,"  said  Frederick. 

It  was  sometimes  done,  according  to  the  Vicomte. 

"  Oh  !  no.     Never !  " 

"  Yes,  indeed ;  I  assure  you !  " 


"  Ha  !  you  see  !  " 

The  look  with  which  she  accompanied  these  words 
meant :  "  This  is  a  rich  man — pay  attention  to  what 
he  says !  " 

Meantime,  the  door  was  opening  every  moment ;  the 
waiters  kept  shouting;  and  on  an  infernal  piano  in 
the  adjoining  room  some  one  was  strumming  a  waltz. 
The  races  led  to  a  discussion  about  horsemanship  and 
the  two  rival  systems.  Cisy  was  upholding  Baucher 
and  Frederick  the  Comte  d'Aure  when  Rosanette 
shrugged  her  shoulders : 

"  Enough — my  God ! — he  is  a  better  judge  of  these 
things  than  you  are — come  now !  " 

She  kept  nibbling  at  a  pomegranate,  with  her  elbow 
resting  on  the  table.  The  wax-candles  of  the  candela- 
brum in  front  of  her  flickered  in  the  wind.  This  white 
light  penetrated  her  skin  with  mother-of-pearl  tones, 
gave  a  pink  hue  to  her  lids,  and  made  her  eyeballs  glit- 
ter. The  red  colour  of  the  fruit  blended  with  the 
purple  of  her  lips ;  her  thin  nostrils  dilated ;  and  there 
was  about  her  entire  person  an  air  of  insolence,  intoxi- 
cation, and  recklessness  that  exasperated  Frederick, 
and  yet  filled  his  heart  with  wild  desires. 

She  asked,  in  a  calm  voice,  who  owned  that  big 
landau  with  chestnut-coloured  livery. 

Cisy  replied  that  it  was  "  the  Comtesse  Dambreuse." 

"  They're  very  rich — aren't  they  ?  " 

"  Oh !  very  rich !  although  Madame  Dambreuse,  who 
was  merely  a  Mademoiselle  Boutron  and  the  daughter 
of  a  prefect,  had  a  very  modest  fortune." 

Her  husband,  on  the  other  hand,  must  have  inherited 
several  estates — Cisy  enumerated  them :  as  he  visited 
the  Dambreuses,  he  knew  their  family  history. 

Frederick,  in  order  to  make  himself  disagreeable  to 
the  other,  took  a  uleasure  in  contradicting  him.  He 


maintained  that  Madame  Dambreuse's  maiden  name 
was  De  Boutron,  which  proved  that  she  was  of  noble 

"No  matter!  I'd  like  to  have  her  equipage!"  said 
the  Marechale,  throwing  herself  back  on  the  armchair. 

And  the  sleeve  of  her  dress,  slipping  up  a  little,  dis- 
covered on  her  left  wrist  a  bracelet  adorned  with  three 

Frederick  noticed  it. 

"  Look  here  !  why- 
All  three  looked  into  one  another's  faces,  and  red- 

The  door  was  cautiously  half-opened ;  the  brim  of  a 
hat  could  be  seen,  and  then  Hussonnet's  profile  ap- 

"  Pray  excuse  me  if  I  disturb  the  lovers !  " 

Then  he  stopped,  astonished  at  seeing  Cisy,  who  had 
taken  his  seat. 

Another  cover  was  brought;  and,  as  he  was  very 
hungry,  he  snatched  up  at  random  from  what  remained 
of  the  dinner,  some  meat  which  was  in  a  dish,  fruit  out 
of  a  basket,  and  drank  with  one  hand  while  he  helped 
himself  with  the  other,  all  the  time  telling  them  the 
result  of  his  mission.  The  two  bow-wows  had  been 
taken  home.  Nothing  fresh  at  the  house.  He  had 
found  the  cook  in  the  company  of  a  soldier — a  fictitious 
story  which  he  had  invented  on  the  way  for  the  sake  of 

The  Marechale  took  down  her  cloak  from  the  win- 
dow-screw. Frederick  rushed  toward  the  bell,  calling 
out  to  the  waiter,  who  was  some  distance  away : 

"  A  carriage !  " 

"  I  have  one  of  my  own,"  said  Cisy. 

"  But,  Monsieur !  " 

"  Nevertheless,  Monsieur !  " 


And  they  looked  into  each  other's  eyes,  both  pale  and 
their  hands  trembling. 

At  last,  the  Marechale  took  Cisy's  arm,  and  pointing 
toward  the  Bohemian  seated  at  the  table : 

"  Pray  mind  him !  He's  choking  himself.  I 
wouldn't  like  his  devotion  to  my  pugs  to  be  the  cause 
of  his  death." 

The  door  closed  behind  them. 

"  Well  ?  "  said  Hussonnet. 

"Well,  what?" 

"  I  thought— 

"What  did  you  think?" 

"Were  you  not ?" 

He  completed  the  sentence  with  a  gesture. 

"  Oh !  no — never  in  all  my  life  !  " 

Hussonnet  did  not  press  the  matter  further. 

He  had  a  motive  in  inviting  himself  to  dinner.  His 
journal — which  was  no  longer  called  L'Art,  but  Le 
Flambart,  with  this  epigraph,  "  Gunners,  to  your  can- 
nons !  " — not  being  at  all  in  a  flourishing  condition,  he 
had  a  mind  to  change  it  into  a  weekly  review,  con- 
ducted by  himself,  without  any  assistance  from  Des- 
lauriers.  He  again  referred  to  the  old  project  and  ex- 
plained his  latest  plan. 

Frederick,  probably  not  understanding  what  he  was 
talking  about,  replied  with  some  vague  words.  Hus- 
sonnet snatched  up  several  cigars  from  the  tables,  said 
"  Good-bye,  old  chap,"  and  disappeared. 

Frederick  called  for  the  bill.  It  had  a  long  list  of 
items ;  and  the  waiter,  with  his  napkin  under  his  arm, 
was  waiting  to  be  paid,  when  another,  a  sallow-faced 
individual,  who  resembled  Martinon,  came  and  said  to 

"  Excuse  me ;  they  forgot  at  the  bar  to  add  in  the 
charge  for  the  cab." 


"  What  cab  ?  " 

"  The  cab  the  gentleman  took  a  short  time  ago  for 
the  little  dogs." 

The  waiter  looked  grave,  as  if  he  pitied  the  poor 
young  man.  Frederick  would  have  liked  to  box  the 
fellow's  ears.  He  gave  the  waiter  the  twenty  francs' 
change  as  a  pour-boirc. 

The  man  bowed  low,  murmuring,  "  Thanks,  Mon- 
seigneur !  " 



THE  whole  of  the  next  day  Frederick  brooded  over 
his  humiliation.  He  blamed  himself  for  not 
having  slapped  Cisy  in  the  face.  As  for  the 
Marechale,  he  swore  never  to  see  her  again.  Others 
as  good-looking  could  be  easily  found ;  and,  as  money 
was  necessary  in  order  to  possess  these  women,  he 
would  speculate  on  the  Bourse  with  the  purchase- 
money  of  his  farm.  He  would  get  rich ;  he  would 
crush  the  Marechale  and  everyone  else  with  his  wealth. 
When  the  evening  had  come,  he  was  surprised  at  not 
having  thought  of  Madame  Arnoux. 

"  So  much  the  better.    What's  the  use  of  it?" 

Two  days  later,  at  eight  o'clock,  Pellerin  came  to 
pay  him  a  visit.  He  began  by  expressing  his  admira- 
tion of  the  furniture  and  talked  in  a  wheedling  tone. 
Then,  abruptly: 

"  You  were  at  the  races  on  Sunday?  " 

"Yes,  alas!" 

Thereupon  the  painter  criticised  the  anatomy  of 
the  English  horses,  and  praised  the  horses  of  Gericourt 
and  the  Parthenon. 

"  Rosanette  was  with  you?  " 

And  he  artfully  proceeded  to  speak  in  flattering 
terms  about  her. 

Frederick's  icy  manner  put  him  a  little  out  of  coun- 

He  did  not  know  how  to  introduce  the  question  of 
her  portrait.  His  first  idea  had  been  to  do  it  in  the 


style  of  Titian.  But  gradually  the  varied  colouring  of 
his  model  had  bewitched  him ;  he  had  gone  on  boldly 
with  the  work,  heaping  up  paste  on  paste  and  light  on 
light.  Rosanette,  at  first,  was  enchanted.  Her  ap- 
pointments with  Delmar  interrupted  the  sittings,  and 
left  Pellerin  all  the  time  to  get  bedazzled.  Then,  as 
his  admiration  began  to  subside,  he  asked  himself 
whether  the  picture  might  not  be  on  a  larger  scale. 
He  had  gone  to  have  another  look  at  the  Titians,  real- 
ised how  the  great  artist  had  filled  in  his  por- 
traits with  such  finish,  and  saw  wherein  his  own  de- 
ficiencies lay ;  and  then  he  began  to  go  over  the  out- 
lines again  in  the  most  simple  fashion.  After  that,  he 
sought,  by  scraping  them  off,  to  lose,  or  to  mingle,  all 
the  tones  of  the  head  and  those  of  the  background; 
the  face  assumed  consistency  and  the  shades  vigour — 
the  whole  work  had  a  look  of  greater  firmness.  At 
length  the  Marechale  came  back  again.  She  indulged 
in  some  hostile  criticisms.  The  painter  naturally  per- 
severed in  his  own  course.  After  getting  into  a  violent 
passion  at  her  silliness,  he  thought  to  himself  that, 
after  all,  perhaps  she  was  right.  Then  began  an  era 
of  doubts,  twinges  of  reflection  which  brought  about 
cramps  in  the  stomach,  insomnia,  feverishness  and  dis- 
gust with  himself.  He  had  the  courage  to  make  some 
retouchings,  but  without  much  heart,  and  with  a  feel- 
ing that  his  work  was  bad. 

He  complained  merely  of  having  been  refused  a 
place  in  the  Salon;  then  he  reproached  Frederick  for 
not  having  come  to  see  the  Marechale's  portrait. 

"  What  do  I  care  about  the  Marechale  ?  " 

Such  an  expression  of  indifference  emboldened  the 

"  Would  you  believe  that  this  brute  has  no  interest 
in  the  thing  any  longer  ?  " 


What  he  did  not  mention  was  that  he  had  asked 
her  for  a  thousand  crowns.  Now  the  Marechale  did 
not  bother  herself  about  ascertaining  who  was  going 
to  pay,  and,  preferring  to  screw  money  out  of  Arnoux 
for  more  urgent  requirements,  she  had  not  even 
spoken  to  him  on  the  subject. 

"Well,  and  Arnoux?" 

She  had  thrown  it  on  him.  The  ex-picture-dealer 
wished  to  have  nothing  to  do  with  the  portrait. 

"  He  maintains  that  it  belongs  to  Rosanette." 

"  In  fact,  it  is  hers." 

"  How  is  that?  Tis  she  that  sent  me  to  you,"  was 
Pellerin's  answer. 

If  he  had  been  thinking  of  the  excellence  of  his 
work,  he  would  not  have  dreamed  perhaps  of  making 
capital  out  of  it.  But  a  sum — and  a  big  sum — would 
be  an  effective  reply  to  the  critics,  and  would 
strengthen  his  own  position.  Finally,  to  get  rid  of  his 
importunities,  Frederick  courteously  inquired  his 

The  extravagant  figure  named  by  Pellerin  quite  took 
away  his  breath,  and  he  replied : 

"Oh!  no— no!" 

"  You,  however,  are  her  lover — you  gave  me  the 
order !  " 

"  Excuse  me,  I  was  only  an  agent." 

"  But  I  can't  remain  with  this  on  my  hands !  " 

The  artist  lost  his  temper. 

"  Ha  !  I  didn't  know  you  were  so  covetous !  " 

"  Nor  I  that  you  were  so  stingy !  I  wish  you  good 
morning !  " 

He  had  just  gone  when  Senecal  made  his  appear- 

Frederick  was  in  a  state  of  great  agitation. 

"What's  the  matter?" 


Senecal  told  this  story : 

"  On  Saturday,  at  nine  o'clock,  Madame  Arnoux 
received  a  letter  which  summoned  her  back  to  Paris. 
As  there  happened  to  be  nobody  in  the  place  at  the 
time  to  go  to  Creil  for  a  vehicle,  she  asked  me  to  at- 
tend to  it.  I  refused,  for  this  was  no  part  of  my 
duties.  She  left,  and  came  back  on  Sunday  evening. 
Yesterday  morning,  Arnoux  came  down  to  the  works. 
The  girl  from  Bordeaux  made  a  complaint  to  him. 
I  don't  know  what  passed  between  them ;  but  he  took 
off,  before  everyone,  the  fine  I  had  imposed  on  her. 
Some  sharp  words  passed  between  us.  In  short,  he 
closed  accounts  with  me,  and  here  I  am !  " 

Then,  with  a  pause  between  every  word : 

"  Furthermore,  I  am  not  sorry.  I  have  done  my 
duty.  No  matter — you  were  the  cause  of  it." 

"  In  what  way  ? "  exclaimed  Frederick,  alarmed 
lest  Senecal  might  have  guessed  his  secret. 

Senecal  had  not,  however,  guessed  anything  about 
it,  for  he  replied : 

"  I  mean  that  but  for  you  I  might  have  done  bet- 

Frederick  was  seized  with  a  kind  of  remorse. 

"  In  what  way  can  I  help  you  now  ?  " 

Senecal  wanted  some  employment,  a  situation. 

"  That  is  an  easy  thing  for  you  to  manage.  You 
know  many  people  of  good  position,  Monsieur  Dam- 
breuse  amongst  others ;  at  least,  so  Deslauriers  told 

This  allusion  to  Deslauriers  was  by  no  means  agree- 
able to  his  friend.  He  scarcely  cared  to  call  on  the 
Dambreuses  again  after  his  unfortunate  meeting  with 
them  in  the  Champ  de  Mars. 

"  I  am  not  on  sufficiently  intimate  terms  with  them 
to  recommend  anyone." 


The  democrat  bore  this  refusal  stoically,  and  after  a 
minute's  silence: 

"  All  this,  I  am  sure,  is  due  to  the  girl  from  Bor- 
deaux, and  to  your  Madame  Arnoux." 

This  "  your "  had  the  effect  of  killing  the  slight 
modicum  of  regard  he  entertained  for  Senecal. 
Nevertheless,  he  stretched  out  his  hand  toward  the 
key  of  his  escritoire  through  delicacy. 

Senecal  anticipated  him : 

"  Thanks !  " 

Then,  forgetting  his  own  troubles,  he  talked  about 
the  affairs  of  the  nation,  the  crosses  of  the  Legion  of 
Honour  wasted  at  the  Royal  Fete,  the  rumour  of  a 
change  of  ministry,  the  Drouillard  case  and  the  Be- 
nier  case — scandals  of  the  day — declaimed  against  the 
middle  class,  and  predicted  a  revolution. 

His  eyes  were  attracted  by  a  Japanese  dagger  hang- 
ing on  the  wall.  He  took  hold  of  it ;  then  he  flung  it 
on  the  sofa  with  an  air  of  disgust. 

"  Well,  then !  good-bye  !  I  must  go  to  Notre  Dame 
de  Lorette." 

"Hold  on!     Why?" 

"  The  anniversary  service  for  Godefroy  Cavaignac 
is  taking  place  there  to-day.  He  died  at  work — that 
man  !  But  all  is  not  over.  Who  knows  ?  " 

And  Senecal,  with  a  show  of  fortitude,  put  out  his 

"  Perhaps  we  shall  never  meet  again  !    Good-bye !  " 

This  "  good-bye,"  repeated  several  times,  his  knitted 
brows  as  he  gazed  at  the  dagger,  his  resignation,  and 
the  solemnity  of  his  manner,  above,  all,  plunged  Fred- 
erick into  a  thoughtful  mood,  but  very  soon  he  forgot 
about  Senecal. 

During  the  same  week,  his  notary  at  Havre  sent  him 
the  sum  realised  by  the  sale  of  his  farm — one  hun- 


dred  and  seventy-four  thousand  francs.  He  divided 
it  into  two  portions,  invested  half  in  the  Funds,  and 
brought  the  second  half  to  a  stock-broker  to  take  his 
chance  of  making  money  by  it  on  the  Bourse. 

He  dined  at  fashionable  taverns,  went  to  the  thea- 
tres, and  was  trying  to  amuse  himself  as  best  he  could, 
when  Hussonnet  addressed  a  letter  to  him  announcing 
in  a  gay  fashion  that  the  Marechale  had  got  rid  of 
Cisy  the  very  day  after  the  races.  Frederick  was  de- 
lighted at  this  intelligence,  without  troubling  to  as- 
certain what  the  Bohemian's  motive  was  in  giving  him 
the  information. 

It  so  happened  that  he  met  Cisy,  three  days  later. 
That  aristocratic  young  gentleman  kept  his  counte- 
nance, and  even  invited  Frederick  to  dine  on  the  fol- 
lowing Wednesday. 

On  the  morning  of  that  day,  the  latter  received  a 
notification  from  a  process-server,  in  which  M. 
Charles  Jean  Baptiste  Oudry  informed  him  that  by  the 
terms  of  a  legal  judgment  he  had  become  the  pur- 
chaser of  a  property  situated  at  Belleville,  belonging 
to  M.  Jacques  Arnoux,  and  that  he  was  ready  to  pay 
the  two  hundred  and  twenty-three  thousand  for  which 
it  had  been  sold.  But,  as  it  appeared  by  the  same  de- 
cree that  the  amount  of  the  mortgages  with  which  the 
estate  was  encumbered  exceeded  the  purchase-money, 
Frederick's  claim  would  in  consequence  be  completely 

The  entire  mischief  arose  from  not  having  renewed 
the  registration  of  the  mortgage  within  the  proper 
time.  Arnoux  had  undertaken  to  attend  to  this  mat- 
ter himself,  and  had  then  forgotten  all  about  it. 
Frederick  was  furious,  and  when  the  young  man's  an- 
ger had  passed  off,  he  said  to  himself: 

"Well,  afterward — what?    If  this  can  save  him,  so 


much  the  better.  It  won't  kill  me !  Let  us  think  no 
more  about  it !  " 

But,  while  moving  about  his  papers  on  the  table, 
he  came  across  Hussonnet's  letter,  and  saw  the  post- 
script, which  he  had  not  at  first  noticed.  The  Bohe- 
mian wanted  just  five  thousand  francs  to  give  the  jour- 
nal a  start. 

"  Ah !  this  fellow  is  worrying  me  to  death !  " 

And  he  sent  a  curt  answer,  unceremoniously  refus- 
ing the  application.  After  that,  he  dressed  him- 
self and  went  to  the  Maison  d'Or. 

Cisy  introduced  his  guests,  beginning  with  the  most 
important  of  them,  a  big,  white-haired  gentleman. 

"  The  Marquis  Gilbert  des  Aulnays,  my  godfather. 
Monsieur  Anselme  de  Forchambeaux,"  he  said  next — 
(a  thin,  fair-haired  young  man,  already  bald)  ;  then, 
pointing  toward  a  simple-mannered  man  of  forty : 
"  Joseph  Boffreu,  my  cousin ;  and  here  is  my  old  tutor, 
Monsieur  Vezou  " — a  person  who  seemed  a  mixture  of 
a  ploughman  and  a  seminarist,  with  large  whiskers 
and  a  long  frock-coat  fastened  at  the  end  by  a  single 
button,  so  that  it  fell  over  his  chest  like  a  shawl. 

Cisy  was  awaiting  some  one  else — the  Baron  de 
Comaing,  who  "  might  perhaps  come,  but  it  was  not 
certain."  He  left  the  room  every  minute,  and  appeared 
to  be  in  a  restless  frame  of  mind.  Finally,  at  eight 
o'clock,  they  proceeded  toward  an  apartment  splendidly 
lighted  up  and  much  more  spacious  than  the  num- 
ber of  guests  required.  Cisy  had  selected  it  so  as  to 
make  a  display. 

A  vermilion  epergne  laden  with  flowers  and  fruit 
occupied  the  centre  of  the  table,  which  was  covered 
with  silver  dishes,  after  the  old  French  fashion ;  glass 
bowls  full  of  salt  meats  and  spices  formed  a  border 
all  around.  Jars  of  iced  red  wine  stood  at  regular 


distances  from  one  another.  Five  glasses  of  different 
sizes  were  before  each  plate,  with  other  things  of 
which  the  use  could  not  be  divined — a  thousand  din- 
ner utensils  of  an  ingenious  description.  For  the  first 
course  alone,  there  was  a  sturgeon's  jowl  moistened 
with  champagne,  a  Yorkshire  ham  with  tokay, 
thrushes  with  sauce,  roast  quail,  a  bechamel  vol-au- 
vent,  a  stew  of  red-legged  partridges ;  at  both  ends  of 
all  this  were  fringes  of  potatoes  mingled  with 
truffles.  The  apartment  was  illuminated  by  a  lustre 
and  some  girandoles,  and  it  was  hung  with  red  dam- 
ask curtains. 

Four  men-servants  in  black  coats  stood  behind  the 
armchairs,  which  were  upholstered  in  morocco.  At 
this  sight  the  guests  uttered  an  exclamation — the 
tutor  more  emphatically  than  the  rest. 

"  Upon  my  word,  our  host  has  indulged  in  a  fool- 
ishly lavish  display  of  luxury.  It  is  altogether  too 
beautiful !  " 

"  Is  that  so  ?  "  said  the  Vicomte  de  Cisy ;  "  Come  on, 
then !  " 

And,  as  they  were  swallowing  the  first  spoonful : 

"  Well,  my  dear  old  friend  Aulnays,  have  you  been 
to  the  Palais-Royal  to  see  Pcre  et  Portier?  " 

"  You  know  well  that  I  have  no  time  to  go !  "  re- 
plied the  Marquis. 

His  mornings  were  occupied  with  a  course  of  ar- 
boriculture, his  evenings  were  spent  at  the  Agricul- 
tural Club,  and  all  his  afternoons  were  engaged  by  a 
study  of  the  implements  of  husbandry  in  manufacto- 
ries. As  he  resided  at  Saintonge  for  three  fourths  of 
the  year,  he  took  advantage  of  his  visits  to  the  capital 
to  get  new  information;  and  his  large-brimmed  hat, 
which  lay  on  a  side-table,  was  crammed  with  pamph- 


But  Cisy,  observing  that  M.  de  Forchambeaux  re- 
fused wine : 

"  Go  on,  damn  it,  drink !  You're  not  in  good  form 
for  your  last  bachelor's  meal !  " 

At  this  remark  all  bowed  and  congratulated  him. 

"  And  the  young  lady,"  said  the  tutor,  "  is  doubt- 
less charming  ?  " 

"  Faith,  she  is !  "  exclaimed  Cisy.  "  No  matter,  he 
is  making  a  great  mistake ;  marriage  is  such  a  stupid 
thing !  " 

"  You  talk  in  a  thoughtless  fashion,  my  friend !  " 
returned  Monsieur  des  Aulnays,  while  tears  gathered 
in  his  eyes  at  the  recollection  of  his  own  dead  wife. 

And  Forchambeaux  repeated  several  times  in  suc- 
cession : 

"  It  will  sometime  be  your  own  case — it  will  be 
your  own  case  !  " 

Cisy  protested.  He  preferred  to  enjoy  himself — to 
"  live  in  the  free-and-easy  style  of  the  Regency  days." 
He  hoped  to  learn  the  shoe-trick,  in  order  to  visit  the 
thieves'  taverns  of  the  city,  like  Rodolphe  in  the  Mys- 
teries of  Paris;  he  drew  out  of  his  pocket  a  dirty  clay 
pipe,  abused  the  servants,  and  drank  freely ;  then,  in 
order  to  create  a  good  impression,  he  disparaged  all 
the  dishes.  He  even  sent  away  the  truffles ;  and  the 
tutor,  who  was  exceedingly  fond  of  them,  said  through 
servility ; 

"  These  are  not  as  good  as  your  grandmother's 
snow-white  eggs." 

Then  he  began  to  chat  with  the  person  sitting  next 
to  him,  the  agriculturist,  who  found  many  advan- 
tages from  his  sojourn  in  the  country,  if  it  were  only 
to  be  able  to  bring  up  his  daughters  with  simple  tastes. 
The  tutor  approved  of  his  ideas  and  toadied  to  him, 
supposing  that  this  gentleman  possessed  influence  over 


his  former  pupil,  whose  man  of  business  he  was  anx- 
ious to  become. 

Frederick  had  come  rilled  with  hostility  to  Cisy ; 
but  the  young  aristocrat's  idiocy  disarmed  him.  How- 
ever, as  the  other's  gestures,  face,  and  entire  person 
brought  back  to  his  mind  the  dinner  at  the  Cafe  An- 
glais, he  got  more  and  more  irritated ;  and  he  lent  his 
ears  to  the  complimentary  remarks  made  in  a  low  tone 
by  Joseph,  the  cousin,  a  fine  young  fellow  without  any 
money,  who  was  a  lover  of  the  chase  and  a  University 
prizeman.  Cisy,  for  the  sake  of  a  laugh,  called  him 
a  "  catcher  "  *  several  times ;  then  suddenly : 

"  Ha  !  here  comes  the  Baron !  " 

At  that  moment,  there  entered  a  jovial  blade  of 
thirty,  with  somewhat  rough-looking  features  and 
active  limbs,  wearing  his  hat  over  his  ear  and  display- 
ing a  flower  in  his  button-hole.  He  was  the  Vicomte's 
ideal.  The  young  aristocrat  was  delighted  to  see  him ; 
and  stimulated  by  his  presence,  he  even  attempted  a 
pun ;  for  he  said,  as  they  passed  a  fine,  roasted  heath- 
cock : 

"  There's  the  best  of  La  Bruyere's  characters !  "  f 

After  that,  he  put  a  number  of  questions  to  M.  de 
Comaing  about  persons  unknown  to  society ;  then,  as 
if  an  idea  had  suddenly  seized  him : 

"Tell  me,  pray!  have  you  thought  about  me?" 

The  other  shrugged  his  shoulders : 

"  You  are  not  old  enough,  my  little  man.  It  is  im- 
possible !  " 

Cisy  had  begged  of  the  Baron  to  get  him  admitted 
into  his  club.  But  the  other  having,  no  doubt,  taken 
pity  on  his  vanity : 

*  Voleur.  May  be  translated  as  "hunter"  or  "thief,"  hence  the 
joke. — TRANSLATOR. 

f  Coq  de  bruyere  means  a  heath-cock  or  grouse;  hence  the  pun  on 
the  name  of  La  Bruyere,  author  of  Caracteres. — EDITOR. 


"  Ha !  I  was  forgetting !  A  thousand  congratula- 
tions on  having  won  your  bet,  my  dear  fellow !  " 

"What  bet?" 

"  The  bet  you  made  at  the  races  to  effect  an  en- 
trance the  same  evening  into  that  lady's  house." 

Frederick  felt  as  if  he  had  had  a  lash  with  a  whip. 
He  was  speedily  appeased  by  the  expression  of  utter 
confusion  in  Cisy's  face. 

In  fact,  the  Marechale,  next  morning,  was  filled 
with  regret  when  Arnoux,  her  first  lover,  her  good 
friend,  presented  himself  that  very  day.  Both  gave 
the  Vicomte  to  understand  that  he  was  in  the  way,  and 
kicked  him  out  without  much  ceremony. 

He  pretended  not  to  have  heard  the  remark. 

The  Baron  went  on  : 

"What  has  become  of  her,  this  fine  Rose?  Is  she 
as  charming  as  ever?"  showing  by  his  manner  that 
he  had  been  on  terms  of  intimacy  with  her. 

Frederick  was  chagrined  by  the  discovery. 

"  There's  nothing  to  blush  at,"  said  the  Baron,  pur- 
suing the  topic,  "  'tis  a  good  thing !  " 

Cisy  smacked  his  tongue. 

"  Whew  !  not  so  good  !  " 

"  Ha !  " 

"  Oh,  dear,  yes !  In  the  first  place,  I  found  her 
nothing  extraordinary,  and  then,  you  pick  up  that 
sort  as  often  as  you  please ;  in  fact,  she  is  for  sale !  " 

"  Not  for  everyone ! "  remarked  Frederick,  with 
some  bitterness. 

"  He  thinks  that  he  is  different  from  the  others," 
was  Cisy's  comment.  "  What  a  good  joke !  " 

And  a  laugh  ran  round  the  table. 

Frederick  felt  as  if  the  palpitations  of  his  heart 
would  suffocate  him.  He  swallowed  two  glasses  of 
water  one  after  the  other. 


But  the  Baron  had  preserved  a  lively  recollection  of 

"  Is  she  still  interested  in  a  fellow  in  trade  named 
Arnoux  ?  " 

"I  haven't  the  faintest  idea,"  said  Cisy,  "  I  don't 
know  the  gentleman  !  " 

Nevertheless,  he  suggested  that  he  believed  Arnoux 
was  a  sort  of  swindler. 

"  A  moment !  "  exclaimed  Frederick. 

"  Oh,  there  is  no  doubt  about  it !  Legal  proceed- 
ings have  been  taken  against  him." 

"  That  is  not  true !  " 

Frederick  began  to  defend  Arnoux,  vouched  for  his 
honesty,  ended  by  convincing  himself  of  it,  and  con- 
cocted figures  and  proofs.  The  Vicomte,  full  of  spite, 
and  tipsy  in  addition,  persisted  in  his  assertions,  so 
that  Frederick  said  to  him  gravely : 

"  Is  the  object  of  this  to  give  offence  to  me,  Mon- 
sieur? " 

And  he  looked  Cisy  full  in  the  face,  with  eyeballs 
as  red  as  his  cigar. 

"  Oh !  not  at  all.  I  acknowledge  that  he  possesses 
something  very  nice — his  wife." 

"  Do  you  know  her  ?  " 

"  Faith,  I  do !  Sophie  Arnoux ;  everyone  knows 

"  You  mean  to  tell  me  that  ?  " 

Cisy,  who  had  staggered  to  his  feet,  hiccoughed: 

"  Everyone — knows — her." 

"  Hold  your  tongue.  It  is  not  with  women  of  her 
class  you  keep  company !  " 

"  I— flatter  myself — it  is." 

Frederick  flung  a  plate  at  his  face.  It  passed  like 
a  flash  of  lightning  over  the  table,  knocked  down  two 
bottles,  demolished  a  fruit-dish,  and  breaking  into 


three  pieces,  by  knocking  against  the  epergne,  hit  the 
Vicomte  in  the  stomach. 

All  the  other  guests  arose  to  hold  him  back.  He 
struggled  and  shrieked,  possessed  by  a  kind  of  frenzy. 

M.  des  Aulnays  kept  repeating: 

"  Come,  be  calm,  my  dear  boy !  " 

"  Why,  this  is  awful !  "  shouted  the  tutor. 

Forchambeaux,  livid  as  a  plum,  was  trembling. 
Joseph  indulged  in  repeated  outbursts  of  laughter. 
The  attendants  sponged  out  the  traces  of  the  wine, 
and  gathered  up  the  remains  of  the  dinner  from  the 
floor;  and  the  Baron  shut  the  window,  for  the  up- 
roar, in  spite  of  the  noise  of  carriage-wheels,  could  be 
heard  on  the  boulevard. 

As  all  present  at  the  moment  the  plate  had  been 
flung  had  been  talking  at  the  same  time,  it  was  im- 
possible to  discover  the  cause  of  the  attack— whether 
it  was  on  account  of  Arnoux,  Madame  Arnoux,  Ro- 
sanette,  or  somebody  else.  One  thing  only  they  were 
certain  of,  that  Frederick  had  acted  with  indescrib- 
able brutality.  On  his  part,  he  refused  positively  to 
express  the  slightest  regret  for  what  he  had  done. 

M.  des  Aulnays  tried  to  soften  him.  Cousin  Jo- 
seph, the  tutor,  and  Forchambeaux  himself  joined  in 
the  effort.  The  Baron,  all  this  time,  was  encouraging 
Cisy,  who,  yielding  to  nervous  weakness,  began  to 
shed  tears. 

Frederick,  on  the  contrary,  was  getting  more  and 
more  angry,  and  they  would  have  remained  there  till 
daybreak  if  the  Baron  had  not  said  : 

"  The  Vicomte,  Monsieur,  will  send  his  seconds  to 
call  on  you  to-morrow." 

"Your  hour?" 

"  Twelve,  if  it  suits  you." 

"  Perfectly,  Monsieur." 


Frederick,  as  soon  as  he  was  in  the  open  air,  drew 
a  deep  breath.  He  had  been  keeping  his  feelings  too 
long  under  restraint ;  he  had  satisfied  them  at  last. 
He  felt,  so  to  speak,  the  pride  of  virility,  a  super- 
abundance of  energy  within  him  which  intoxicated 
him.  He  required  two  seconds.  The  first  person  he 
thought  of  for  the  purpose  was  Regimbart,  and  he 
immediately  directed  his  steps  toward  the  Rue  Saint- 
Denis.  The  shop-front  was  closed,  but  a  light  shone 
through  a  pane  of  glass  over  the  door.  It  opened  and 
he  went  in,  stooping  very  low  as  he  passed  under  the 

A  candle  at  the  side  of  the  bar  lighted  up  the  de- 
serted smoking-room.  All  the  stools,  with  their  feet 
in  the  air,  were  piled  on  the  table.  The  master  and 
mistress,  with  their  waiter,  were  at  supper  in  a  cor- 
ner near  the  kitchen ;  and  Regimbart,  with  his  hat  on 
his  head,  was  sharing  their  meal,  and  even  disturbed 
the  waiter,  wrho  was  compelled  every  moment  to  turn 
aside  a  little.  Frederick,  having  briefly  explained  the 
matter,  asked  Regimbart  to  assist  him.  The  Citizen 
at  first  made  no  reply.  He  rolled  his  eyes  about, 
looked  as  if  he  were  plunged  in  reflection,  took  several 
strides  around  the  room,  and  at  last  said: 

"  Yes,  by  all  means !  "  and  a  homicidal  smile 
smoothed  his  brow  when  he  learned  that  the  adversary 
was  a  nobleman. 

"  Make  your  mind  easy ;  we'll  rout  him  with  flying 
colours !  In  the  first  place,  with  the  sword " 

"  But  perhaps,"  broke  in  Frederick,  "  I  have  not  the 

"  I  tell  you  'tis  necessary  to  take  the  sword,"  the 
Citizen  replied  roughly.  "  Do  you  know  how  to  make 
passes  ?  " 

"  A  little." 


"  Oh !  a  little.  That  is  the  way  with  you  all ;  and 
yet  you  have  a  mania  for  committing  assaults.  What 
does  the  fencing-school  teach?  Listen  to  me:  keep  a 
good  distance  off,  always  confining  yourself  in  circles, 
and  parry — parry  as  you  retire ;  that  is  permitted. 
Tire  him  out.  Then  boldly  make  a  lunge  on  him  !  and, 
above  all,  no  malice,  no  strokes  of  the  La  Fougere 
kind.  No !  a  simple  one-two,  and  some  disengage- 
ments. Look  here !  do  you  see  ?  while  you  turn  your 
wrist  as  if  opening  a  lock.  Pere  Vauthier,  give  me 
your  cane.  Ha !  that  will  do.  Now,  my  friends,  ob- 
serve me  carefully." 

He  grasped  the  rod  which  was  used  for  lighting 
the  gas,  rounded  his  left  arm,  bent  his  right,  and  be- 
gan to  make  thrusts  against  the  partition.  He 
stamped  with  his  foot,  got  animated,  and  pretended 
to  be  encountering  difficulties,  while  he  exclaimed: 
"Are  you  there?  Is  that  it?  Are  you  there?"  and 
his  enormous  silhouette  projected  itself  on  the  wall 
while  his  hat  apparently  touched  the  ceiling.  The 
owner  of  the  cafe  shouted  from  time  to  time :  "  Bravo ! 
very  good !  "  His  wife,  though  a  little  unnerved,  was 
likewise  filled  with  admiration ;  and  Theodore,  who 
had  been  in  the  army,  remained  riveted  to  the  spot 
with  amazement,  the  fact  being  that  he  regarded  M. 
Regimbart  with  an  enthusiastic  degree  of  hero-wor- 

Next  morning,  at  an  early  hour,  Frederick  hurried 
to  the  establishment  in  which  Dussardier  was  em- 
ployed. After  having  passed  through  a  succession  of 
departments  all  full  of  clothing-materials,  either  piled 
on  the  shelves  or  lying  on  tables,  while  here  and  there 
shawls  were  fixed  on  wooden  racks  shaped  like  toad- 
stools, he  saw  the  young  man,  in  a  sort  of  railed 
cage,  surrounded  by  account-books,  and  standing  in 


front  of  a  desk  at  which  he  was  writing.  The  honest 
fellow  left  his  work. 

The  seconds  arrived  before  twelve  o'clock. 

Frederick,  as  a  matter  of  good  taste,  was  absent  at 
the  conference. 

The  Baron  and  M.  Joseph  declared  that  they  would 
be  satisfied  with  the  simplest  apology.  But  Regim- 
bart's  principle  being  never  to  yield,  and  his  conten- 
tion being  that  Arnoux's  honour  should  be  vindicated 
(Frederick  had  not  spoken  to  him  about  anything 
else),  he  asked  that  the  Vicomte  should  apologise.  M. 
de  Comaing  was  indignant  at  this  presumption.  The 
Citizen  would  not  give  way  an  inch.  As  all  concilia- 
tion proved  impracticable,  there  was  nothing  for  it 
but  to  fight. 

Other  difficulties  arose,  for  the  choice  of  weapons 
lay  with  Cisy,  as  the  person  to  whom  the  insult  had 
been  offered.  But  Regimbart  maintained  that  by  send- 
ing the  challenge  he  had  constituted  himself  the  offend- 
ing party.  His  seconds  loudly  protested  that  a  buffet 
was  the  most  cruel  of  offences.  The  Citizen  carped 
at  the  words,  pointing  out  that  a  buffet  was  not  a 
blow.  Finally,  they  decided  to  take  the  advice  of  a 
military  man ;  and  the  four  seconds  went  off  to  con- 
sult the  officers  in  some  of  the  barracks. 

They  drew  up  at  the  barracks  on  the  Ouai  d'Orsay. 
M.  de  Comaing,  having  accosted  two  captains,  ex- 
plained to  them  the  question  in  dispute. 

The  captains  did  not  understand  a  word  of  what 
he  was  saying,  owing  to  the  confusion  caused  by  the 
Citizen's  incidental  remarks.  In  short,  they  advised 
the  gentlemen  who  consulted  them  to  draw  up  a 
minute  of  the  proceedings ;  after  which  they  would 
give  their  decision.  Thereupon,  they  repaired  to  a 
cafe;  where  they,  in  order  to  do  things  with  more 


circumspection,  referred  to  Cisy  as  H,  and  to  Freder- 
ick as  K. 

Then  they  returned  to  the  barracks.  The  officers 
were  out.  They  reappeared,  and  declared  that  the 
choice  of  arms  manifestly  belonged  to  H. 

They  all  returned  to  Cisy's  abode.  Regimbart  and 
Dussardier  remained  on  the  footpath  outside. 

The  Vicomte,  when  he  was  informed  of  the  solu- 
tion of  the  case,  was  seized  with  such  extreme  agi- 
tation that  they  had  to  repeat  for  him  several  times  the 
decision  of  the  officers;  and,  when  M.  de  Comaing 
came  to  deal  with  Regimbart's  contention,  he  mur- 
mured "Nevertheless,"  not  being  very  reluctant  him- 
self to  yield  to  it.  Then  he  sank  into  an  armchair,  and 
declared  that  he  would  not  fight. 

"Eh?  What?"  said  the  Baron.  Then  Cisy  in- 
dulged in  a  confused  flood  of  mouthings.  He  wished 
to  fight  with  firearms — to  discharge  a  single  pistol  at 
close  quarters. 

"  Or  else  we  will  put  arsenic  into  a  glass,  and  draw 
lots  to  see  who  must  drink  it.  That's  sometimes  done." 

The  Baron,  naturally  rather  impatient,  addressed 
him  harshly: 

"  These  gentlemen  are  waiting  for  your  answer. 
This  is  indecent,  to  put  it  shortly.-  What  weapons  do 
you  prefer  ?  Come !  is  it  the  sword  ?  " 

The  Vicomte  gave  an  affirmative  reply  by  merely 
nodding  his  head ;  and  it  was  arranged  that  the  meet- 
ing should  take  place  next  morning  at  seven  o'clock 
sharp  at  the  Maillot  gate. 

Dussardier,  having  to  go  back  to  his  business, 
Regimbart  went  to  inform  Frederick  of  the  arrange- 
ment. He  had  been  left  all  day  without  any  news, 
and  his  impatience  was  becoming  intolerable. 

"  So  much  the  better !  "  he  exclaimed. 


The  Citizen  was  satisfied  with  his  courageous  de- 

"  Would  you  believe  it  ?  They  wanted  an  apology 
from  us.  It  was  nothing — a  mere  word !  But  I 
knocked  them  off  their  beam-ends  nicely.  The  right 
thing  to  do,  wasn't  it?  " 

"  Undoubtedly,"  said  Frederick,  thinking  that  it 
might  have  been  better  to  choose  another  second. 

Then,  when  he  was  alone,  he  repeated  several  times 
in  a  very  loud  tone : 

"  I  am  going  to  fight !  Hold  on,  I  am  going  to 
fight !  Tis  funny !  " 

And,  as  he  walked  up  and  down  his  room,  while 
passing  in  front  of  the  mirror,  he  noticed  that  he  was 

"  Have  I  any  reason  to  be  afraid  ?  " 

He  was  seized  with  a  feeling  of  intolerable  misery 
at  the  prospect  of  exhibiting  fear  on  the  ground. 

"  And  yet,  suppose  I  am  killed  ?  My  father  met 
his  death  thus.  Yes,  I  shall  probably  be  killed !  " 

And,  suddenly,  his  mother  rose  up  before  him  in 
a  black  dress ;  incoherent  images  floated  before  his 
mind.  His  own  cowardice  exasperated  him.  A  par- 
oxysm of  courage,  a  thirst  for  human  blood,  took 
possession  of  him.  A  battalion  could  not  have  made 
him  retreat.  When  this  feverish  excitement  had 
cooled  down,  he  was  overjoyed  to  feel  that  his  nerves 
were  perfectly  steady.  To  divert  his  thoughts,  he  went 
to  the  opera,  where  a  ballet  was  being  performed.  He 
listened  to  the  music,  looked  at  the  danseuscs  through 
his  opera-glass,  and  drank  a  glass  of  punch  between 
the  acts.  But  when  he  got  home  again,  the  sight  of 
his  study,  of  his  furniture,  in  the  midst  of  which  he 
found  himself  for  the  last  time,  made  him  feel  ready 
to  swoon. 


He  went  down  to  the  garden.  The  stars  were  shin- 
ing ;  he  gazed  up  at  them.  The  idea  of  fighting  about  a 
woman  gave  him  a  greater  importance  in  his  own  eyes, 
and  surrounded  him  with  a  halo  of  nobility.  He  re- 
tired in  a  tranquil  frame  of  mind. 

It  was  otherwise  with  Cisy.  After  the  Baron's  de- 
parture, Joseph  had  tried  to  revive  his  drooping  spirits, 
and,  as  the  Vicomte  remained  in  the  same  dull  mood : 

"  However,  old  boy,  if  you  prefer  to  remain  at 
home,  I'll  go  and  say  so." 

Cisy  durst  not  answer  "  Certainly ; "  but  he  would 
have  liked  his  cousin  to  do  him  this  service  without 
speaking  to  him  about  it. 

He  wished  that  Frederick  would  die  during  the 
night  of  an  attack  of  apoplexy,  or  that  a  riot  would 
break  out  so  that  next  morning  all  the  approaches  to 
the  Bois  de  Boulogne  would  be  barricaded,  or  that 
some  emergency  might  prevent  one  of  the  seconds 
from  being  present,  for  in  the  absence  of  seconds  the 
duel  would  fall  through.  He  felt  a  longing  to  save 
himself  by  taking  an  express  train — no  matter  where. 
He  regretted  that  he  did  not  understand  medicine  so 
as  to  be  able  to  take  something  which,  without  en- 
dangering his  life,  would  cause  it  to  be  believed  that 
he  was  dead.  He  finally  wished  to  be  ill  in  earnest. 

In  order  to  get  advice  and  assistance  from  some- 
one, he  sent  for  M.  des  Aulnays.  That  worthy  man 
had  gone  back  to  Saintonge  on  receiving  a  letter  ad- 
vising him  of  the  illness  of  one  of  his  daughters.  This 
appeared  an  ominous  circumstance  to  Cisy.  Luckily, 
M.  Vezou,  his  tutor,  came  to  see  him.  Then  he  un- 
bosomed himself. 

"  What  am  I  to  do  ?  my  God !  what  am  I  to  do  ?  " 
he  wailed. 

"  If  I  were  in  your  place,  Monsieur,  I  should  pay 


some  strapping  fellow  from  the  market-place  to  go 
and  give  him  a  drubbing." 

"  He  would  still  know  who  was  responsible  for  it," 
replied  Cisy. 

And  from  time  to  time  he  uttered  a  groan;  then: 
"  But  is  a  man  bound  to  fight  a  duel  ?  " 
"  Tis  a  relic  of  barbarism !     What  is  a  gentleman 
to  do?" 

Out  of  complaisance  the  pedagogue  invited  himself 
to  dinner.  His  pupil  did  not  eat  anything,  but,  after 
the  meal,  took  a  short  walk. 

As  they  were  passing  a  church,  he  said : 
"  Suppose  we  go  in  for  a  little  while — to  look?  " 
M.  Vezou  asked  nothing  better,  and  even  offered 
him  holy  water. 

It  was  the  month  of  May.  The  altar  was  a  mass 
of  flowers;  voices  were  chanting;  the  organ  was  re- 
sounding through  the  church.  But  he  found  it  im- 
possible to  pray,  as  the  pomps  of  religion  inspired 
him  merely  with  thoughts  of  funerals.  He  fancied 
that  he  could  hear  the  murmurs  of  the  De  Profundis. 
"  Let  us  go  away.  I  don't  feel  well." 
They  passed  the  whole  night  playing  cards.  The 
Vicomte  endeavoured  to  lose  in  order  to  exorcise  ill- 
luck,  a  thing  which  M.  Vezou  turned  to  his  own  ad- 
vantage. At  last,  at  the  first  streak  of  dawn,  Cisy, 
who  could  bear  up  no  longer,  sank  down  on  the  green 
cloth,  and  was  soon  plunged  in  a  sleep  which  was 
disturbed  by  unpleasant  dreams. 

If  courage,  however,  consists  in  wishing  to  get 
the  better  of  one's  own  weakness,  the  Vicomte  was 
courageous,  for  in  the  presence  of  his  seconds,  who 
came  to  seek  him,  he  stiffened  himself  up  with  all 
the  strength  he  could  command,  vanity  making  him 
realise  that  to  attempt  to  draw  back  now  would 


ruin  him.  M.  de  Comaing  congratulated  him  on 
his  good  appearance. 

But  the  jolting  of  the  cab  and  the  heat  of  the 
morning  sun  made  him  languish.  His  energy 
weakened  again.  He  could  not  even  distinguish  any 
longer  where  they  were.  The  Baron  amused  him- 
self by  increasing  his  terror,  talking  about  the 
"  corpse,"  and  of  the  way  they  intended  to  get  back 
clandestinely  to  the  city.  Joseph  gave  the  rejoin- 
der; both,  considering  the  affair  ridiculous,  were 
certain  that  it  would  be  settled. 

Cisy  kept  his  head  on  his  breast ;  he  lifted  it  up 
slowly,  and  drew  attention  to  the  fact  that  they  had 
not  taken  a  doctor  with  them. 

"  Tis  unnecessary,"  said  the  Baron. 

"Then  there's  no  danger?" 

Joseph  answered  in  a  grave  tone : 

"  Let  us  hope  so!  " 

And  nobody  in  the  carriage  made  any  further 

At  ten  minutes  past  seven  they  arrived  in  front 
of  the  Maillot  gate.  Frederick  and  his  seconds  were 
there,  the  entire  group  being  dressed  in  black. 
Regimbart,  instead  of  a  cravat,  wore  a  stiff  horse- 
hair collar,  like  a  trooper;  and  he  carried  a  long 
violin-case  adapted  for  adventures  of  this  kind. 
They  exchanged  frigid  bows.  Then  they  all 
plunged  into  the  Bois  de  Boulogne,  taking  the  Ma- 
drid road,  in  order  to  find  a  suitable  place. 

Regimbart  said  to  Frederick,  who  was  walking 
between  him  and  Dussardier: 

"Well,  and  this  scare — what  does  that  matter? 
If  you  want  anything,  don't  annoy  yourself  about 
it ;  I  know  what  to  do.  Fear  is  natural  to  man ! " 

Then,  in  a  low  tone : 


"  Don't  smoke  any  more;  it  has  a  weakening  ef- 

Frederick  threw  away  his  cigar,  which  was  only 
disturbing  his  brain,  and  went  on  with  a  firm  step. 
The  Vicomte  advanced  behind,  leaning  on  the 
arms  of  his  two  seconds.  Occasional  wayfarers 
crossed  their  path.  The  sky  was  blue,  and  from 
time  to  time  they  heard  rabbits  skipping  about.  At 
the  turn  of  a  path,  a  woman  in  a  Madras  handker- 
chief was  chatting  with  a  man  in  a  blouse ;  and  in 
the  large  avenue  under  the  chestnut-trees  some 
grooms  in  vests  of  linen-cloth  were  walking  horses 
up  and  down. 

Cisy  recalled  the  happy  days  when,  mounted  on 
his  own  chestnut  horse,  and  with  his  glass  stuck  in 
his  eye,  he  rode  up  to  carriage-doors.  These  recol- 
lections intensified  his  wretchedness.  An  intoler- 
able thirst  parched  his  throat.  The  buzzing  of 
flies  mingled  with  the  throbbing  of  his  arteries. 
His  feet  sank  into  the  sand.  It  seemed  to  him  as 
if  he  had  been  walking  during  a  period  which  had 
neither  beginning  nor  end. 

The  seconds  examined  with  keen  glances  each 
side  of  the  path  they  were  traversing.  They  hesi- 
tated as  to  whether  they  would  go  to  the  Catelan 
Cross  or  under  the  walls  of  the  Bagatelle.  At  last 
they  took  a  turn  to  the  right,  drawing  up  in  a  kind 
of  quincunx  in  the  midst  of  the  pine-trees. 

The  spot  was  chosen  in  such  a  way  that  the  level 
ground  was  cut  equally  into  two  divisions.  The 
places  at  which  the  principals  in  the  duel  were  to 
take  their  stand  were  marked  out.  Then  Regimbart 
opened  his  case.  It  was  lined  with  red  sheep's 
leather,  and  contained  four  charming  swords  hol- 
lowed in  the  centre,  with  highly  ornamented  han- 


dies,  which  were  adorned  with  filigree.  A  ray  of 
light,  passing  through  the  leaves,  fell  on  them,  and 
they  appeared  to  Cisy  to  glitter  like  silver  vipers 
on  a  sea  of  blood. 

The  Citizen  showed  that  they  were  of  equal 
length.  He  took  one  himself,  in  order  to  separate 
the  combatants  in  case  of  necessity.  M.  de  Coma- 
ing  held  a  walking-stick.  There  was  an  interval  of 
silence.  They  looked  at  each  other.  All  the  faces 
appeared  either  fierce  or  cruel. 

Frederick  had  taken  off  his  coat  and  his  waist- 
coat. Joseph  aided  Cisy  to  do  the  same.  When  his 
cravat  was  removed  a  blessed  medal  could  be  seen 
on  his  neck.  This  made  Regimbart  smile  con- 

Then  M.  de  Comaing  (in  order  to  allow  Frederick 
another  moment  for  reflection)  tried  to  raise  some 
quibbles.  He  demanded  the  right  to  put  on  a  glove, 
and  to  catch  hold  of  his  adversary's  sword  with  the 
left  hand.  Regimbart,  who  was  in  a  hurry,  made  no 
objection  to  this.  At  last  the  Baron,  addressing 
Frederick : 

"  Everything  depends  on  you,  Monsieur !  There 
is  never  any  dishonour  in  acknowledging  one's 

Dussardier  made  a  gesture  of  approval.  The 
Citizen  gave  vent  to  his  indignation : 

"  Do  you  think  we  came  here  as  a  mere  sham, 
damn  it!  Be  on  your  guard,  each  of  you!  " 

The  combatants  were  facing  each  other,  with 
their  seconds  by  their  sides. 

He  uttered  the  single  word :   "  Come !  " 

Cisy  became  dreadfully  pale.  The  end  of  his 
blade  was  quivering  like  a  horsewhip.  His  head 
fell  back,  his  hands  dropped  helplessly,  and  he  sank 


unconscious  on  the  ground.  Joseph  raised  him  up 
and  while  holding  a  scent-bottle  to  his  nose,  gave 
him  a  good  shaking. 

The  Vicomte  reopened  his  eyes,  then  suddenly 
grasped  at  his  sword  like  a  madman.  Frederick 
had  held  his  in  readiness,  and  now  awaited  him 
with  steady  eye  and  uplifted  hand. 

"  Stop !  stop !  "  cried  a  voice,  which  came  from 
the  road  simultaneously  with  the  sound  of  a  horse 
at  full  gallop,  and  the  hood  of  a  cab  broke  the 
branches.  A  man  bending  out  his  head  waved  a 
handkerchief,  still  shouting: 

"Stop!  stop!" 

M.  de  Comaing,  believing  that  this  meant  the  in- 
tervention of  the  police,  lifted  up  his  walking-stick. 

"Make  an  end  of  it.     The  Vicomte  is  bleeding!" 

"I?"  said  Cisy. 

In  fact,  he  had  in  his  fall  taken  the  skin  off  his 
left  thumb. 

"  But  this  was  done  by  falling,"  observed  the  Cit- 

The  Baron  pretended  not  to  understand. 

Arnoux  jumped  out  of  the  cab. 

"  I  have  arrived  too  late  ?  No !  Thanks  be  to 
God !  " 

H'e  threw  his  arms  around  Frederick,  felt  him, 
and  covered  his  face  with  kisses. 

"  I  am  the  cause  of  it.  You  were  defending  your 
old  friend  !  That's  right — that's  right !  Never  shall 
I  forget  it !  How  good  you  are  !  Ah  !  my  own  dear 
boy !  " 

He  gazed  at  Frederick  and  shed  tears,  while  he 
chuckled  with  delight.  The  Baron  turned  toward 
Joseph : 

"  I  believe  we  are  in  the  way  at  this  little  family 


party.  It  is  over,  Messieurs,  is  it  not?  Vicomte, 
put  your  arm  into  a  sling.  Hold  on!  here  is  my 
silk  handkerchief." 

Then,  with  an  imperious  gesture:  "Come!  no 
spite !  This  is  as  it  should  be !  " 

The  two  adversaries  shook  hands  in  a  very  luke- 
warm fashion.  The  Vicomte,  M.  de  Comaing,  and 
Joseph  went  off  in  one  direction,  and  Frederick  left 
with  his  friends  in  the  opposite  direction. 

As  the  Madrid  Restaurant  was  not  far  off,  Arnoux 
proposed  that  they  should  go  and  drink  a  glass  of 
beer  there. 

"  We  might  even  have  breakfast." 

But,  as  Dussardier  had  no  time  to  lose,  they  con- 
fined themselves  to  taking  some  refreshment  in  the 

They  all  felt  that  sense  of  satisfaction  which  fol- 
lows happy  denouements.  The  Citizen,  neverthe- 
less, was  annoyed  at  the  duel  having  been  inter- 
rupted at  the  most  critical  stage. 

Arnoux  had  been  apprised  of  it  by  a  person 
named  Compain,  a  friend  of  Regimbart;  and  with 
an  irrepressible  outburst  of  emotion  he  had  rushed 
to  the  spot  to  prevent  it,  under  the  impression  that 
he  was  the  occasion  of  it.  He  begged  Frederick  to 
furnish  him  wtih  the  details.  Frederick,  touched 
by  these  proofs  of  affection,  felt  some  scruples  at 
the  idea  of  increasing  his  misapprehension  of  the 

"  For  mercy's  sake,  don't  say  any  more  about  it !  " 

Arnoux  thought  that  this  reserve  showed  great 
delicacy.  Then,  with  his  habitual  levity,  he  passed 
on  to  another  subject. 

"What  news,  Citizen?" 

And  they  began  talking  about  banking  transac- 


tions,  and  the  number  of  bills  that  were  falling  due. 
In  order  to  be  more  private,  they  went  to  another 
table,  where  they  exchanged  whispered  confidences. 

Frederick  could  overhear  the  following  words : 
"  You  are  going  to  back  me  up  with  your  signa- 
ture,." "  Yes,  but  you,  mind !  "  "  I  have  negotiated 
it  for  three  hundred  !  "  "  A  nice  commission,  faith !  " 

In  short,  it  was  evident  that  Arnoux  was  mixed 
up  in  a  great  many  shady  transactions  with  the 

Frederick  thought  of  mentioning  the  fifteen  thou- 
sand francs.  But  his  last  step  forbade  the  utterance 
of  any  reproachful  words  even  of  the  mildest  de- 
scription. Besides,  he  felt  tired  himself,  and  this 
was  not  a  convenient  place  for  talking  about  such 
a  thing.  He  put  it  off  till  some  future  day. 

Arnoux,  seated  in  the  shade  of  an  evergreen,  was 
smoking,  and  with  a  look  of  joviality  in  his  face.  He 
raised  his  eyes  toward  the  doors  of  private  rooms 
that  looked  out  on  the  garden,  remarking  that  he 
had  often  paid  visits  to  the  house  in  former  days. 

"Probably  not  alone?"  returned  the  Citizen. 

"  Faith,  you're  right  there !  " 

"  What  blackguardism  you  do  indulge  in  I  you, 
a  married  man !  " 

"Well,  and  what  about  yourself?"  retorted  Ar- 
noux ;  and,  with  an  indulgent  smile :  "  I  am  sure 
that  even  this  rascal  here  has  a  room  of  his  own 
somewhere  into  which  he  takes  his  friends." 

The  Citizen  acknowledged  this  by  simply  shrug- 
ging his  shoulders.  Then  these  two  gentlemen 
compared  their  respective  tastes  with  regard  to 
the  sex :  Arnoux  now  preferred  youth,  work-girls ; 
Regimbart  hated  affected  women,  and  went  in  for 
the  genuine  article  before  anything  else.  The 


opinion  which  the  earthenware-dealer  expressed  at  the 
close  of  this  discussion  was  that  women  were  not  to 
be  taken  seriously. 

"  Nevertheless,  he  is  fond  of  his  own  wife,"  thought 
Frederick,  as  he  made  his  way  home ;  and  he  looked 
on  Arnoux  as  a  coarse-grained  man.  He  had  a 
grudge  against  him  on  account  of  the  duel,  as  if  it 
had  been  for  his  sake  that  he  had  risked  his  life  a  lit- 
tle while  before. 

But  he  felt  grateful  to  Dussardier  for  his  devotion. 
Ere  long  the  book-keeper  came  at  his  invitation  to  pay 
him  a  visit  every  day. 

Frederick  lent  him  books — Thiers,  Dulaure,  Ba- 
rante,  and  Lamartine's  Girondins. 

The  honest  fellow  listened  to  everything  the  other 
said  with  a  thoughtful  air,  and  accepted  his  opinions 
as  those  of  a  master. 

One  evening  he  arrived  looking  quite  alarmed. 

That  morning,  on  the  boulevard,  a  man  who  was 
running  so  quickly  that  he  was  almost  breathless,  had 
jostled  against  him,  and  having  recognised  him  as  a 
friend  of  Senecal,  had  said  to  him: 

"  He  has  just  been  arrested !  I  am  making  my  es- 
cape !  " 

There  was  no  doubt  about  it.  Dussardier  had 
spent  the  day  making  inquiries.  Senecal  was  in  jail 
charged  with  an  attempted  crime  of  a  political  nature. 

The  son  of  an  overseer,  he  was  born  at  Lyons,  and 
having  had  as  his  teacher  a  former  disciple  of  Chalier, 
he  had,  on  his  arrival  in  Paris,  obtained  admission  into 
the  "  Society  of  Families."  His  ways  were  known, 
and  the  police  kept  a  watch  on  him.  He  was  one  of 
those  who  fought  in  the  outbreak  of  May,  1839,  and 
since  then  he  had  remained  in  the  background ;  but,  his 
self-importance  increasing,  he  became  a  fanatical  fol- 


lower  of  Alibaud,  mixing  up  his  own  grievances 
against  society  with  those  of  the  people  against  mon- 
archy, and  waking  up  every  morning  in  the  hope  of  a 
revolution  which  in  a  fortnight  or  a  month  would 
turn  the  world  upside  down.  At  last,  discouraged  at 
the  inactivity  of  his  brethren,  enraged  at  the  obstacles 
that  retarded  the  realisation  of  his  dreams,  and  de- 
spairing of  the  country,  he  entered  in  his  capacity  of 
chemist  into  a  conspiracy  for  the  use  of  incendiary 
bombs ;  and  he  had  been  caught  carrying  gunpowder, 
of  which  he  was  going  to  make  a  trial  at  Montmartre 
— a  supreme  effort  to  establish  the  Republic. 

Dussardier  was  no  less  attached  to  the  Republican 
idea,  for,  from  his  point  of  view,  it  meant  enfranchise- 
ment and  universal  happiness.  One  day — at  the  age 
of  fifteen — in  the  Rue  Transonain,  in  front  of  a  gro- 
cer's shop,  he  had  seen  soldiers'  bayonets  reddened 
with  blood  and  they  showed  human  hairs  pasted  to 
the  butt-ends  of  their  guns.  Since  that  time,  the  Gov- 
ernment had  filled  him  with  rage  as  the  very  incarna- 
tion of  injustice.  He  frequently  confused  the  assas- 
sins with  the  gendarmes ;  and  in  his  eyes  a  police-spy 
was  just  as  bad  as  a  parricide.  All  the  evil  scattered 
over  the  earth  he  ingeniously  attributed  to  Power; 
and  he  hated  it  with  a  deep-rooted,  undying  hatred 
that  held  possession  of  his  heart  and  made  his  sensi- 
bility all  the  more  acute.  He  had  been  dazzled  by 
Senecal's  declamations.  It  was  irrelevant  whether  he 
happened  to  be  guilty  or  not,  or  whether  the  attempt 
with  which  he  was  charged  could  be  characterised  as 
an  odious  proceeding!  Since  he  was  the  victim  of 
Authority,  it  was  only  right  to  support  him. 

11  The  Peers  will  condemn  him,  certainly !  Then 
he  will  be  conveyed  in  a  prison-van,  like  a  convict,  to 
Mont  Saint-Michel,  where  the  Government  lets  people 


die  !  Austen  went  mad !  Steuben  killed  himself !  In 
order  to  transfer  Barbes  to  a  dungeon,  soldiers  had 
dragged  him  by  the  legs  and  by  the  hair.  They  tram- 
pled on  his  body,  and  his  head  rebounded  along  the 
staircase  at  every  step  they  took.  How  abominable !  " 

He  was  choking  with  angry  sobs,  and  he  walked 
about  the  apartment  excitedly. 

"  In  the  meantime,  something  must  be  done !  For 
my  part,  I  don't  know  what  to  do !  Suppose  we  tried 
to  rescue  him,  eh?  While  they  are  bringing  him  to 
the  Luxembourg,  we  could  throw  ourselves  on  the  es- 
cort in  the  passage  !  A  dozen  resolute  men — that  some- 
times is  enough  to  accomplish  it !  " 

There  was  so  much  fire  in  his  eyes  that  Frederick 
was  startled.  He  recalled  Senecal's  sufferings  and  his 
austere  life.  Without  feeling  the  same  enthusiasm 
about  him  as  Dussardier,  he  experienced  nevertheless 
that  admiration  which  is  inspired  by  every  man  who 
sacrifices  himself  for  an  idea.  He  felt  that,  if  he  had 
helped  this  man,  he  would  not  be  in  his  present  posi- 
tion ;  and  the  two  friends  anxiously  sought  to  devise 
some  plan  whereby  they  could  set  him  free. 

It  was  impossible  for  them  to  get  access  to  him. 

Frederick  read  the  newspapers  to  try  to  find  out 
what  had  become  of  him,  and  for  three  weeks  he  was 
a  constant  visitor  at  the  reading-rooms. 

One  day  several  numbers  of  the  Flambard  fell  into 
his  hands.  The  leading  article  was  invariably  de- 
voted to  cutting  up  some  distinguished  man.  After 
that  came  some  society  gossip  and  scandals.  Then 
there  were  some  chaffing  observations  about  the 
Odeon  Carpentras,  pisciculture,  and  prisoners  under 
sentence  of  death,  when  there  happened  to  be  any. 
The  disappearance  of  a  packet-boat  furnished  mate- 
rial for  a  whole  year's  jokes.  In  the  third  column  a 


picture-canvasser,  under  the  form  of  anecdotes  or  ad- 
vice, gave  some  tailors'  announcements,  together  with 
accounts  of  evening  parties,  advertisements  as  to  auc- 
tions, and  analysis  of  artistic  productions,  writing  in 
the  same  strain  about  a  volume  of  verse  and  a  pair 
of  boots.  The  only  serious  portion  of  it  was  the  criti- 
cism of  the  small  theatres,  in  which  fierce  attacks  were 
made  on  two  or  three  managers ;  and  the  interests  of 
art  were  invoked  on  the  subjects  of  the  decorations  of 
the  Rope-dancers'  Gymnasium  and  of  the  actress  who 
played  the  part  of  the  heroine  at  the  Delassements. 

Frederick  was  glancing  over  all  these  items  when 
his  eyes  alighted  on  an  article  entitled  A  Lass  between 
three  Lads.  It  was  the  story  of  his  duel  related  in  a 
lively  Gallic  style.  He  had  no  difficulty  in  recognising 
himself,  for  he  was  constantly  referred  to  as :  "A 
young  man  from  the  College  of  Sens  who  has  no 
sense."  He  was  even  represented  as  a  poor  devil 
from  the  provinces,  an  obscure  booby  trying  to  rub 
against  persons  of  high  rank.  As  for  the  Vicomte,  he 
was  made  to  play  a  fascinating  part,  first  by  having 
forced  his  way  into  the  supper-room,  then  by  having 
carried  off  the  lady,  and,  finally,  by  having  behaved 
throughout  like  a  perfect  gentleman. 

Frederick's  courage  was  not  denied  exactly,  but  it 
was  pointed  out  that  an  intermediary — the  protector 
himself — had  arrived  on  the  scene  just  in  the  nick  of 
time.  The  article  concluded  with  this  phrase,  preg- 
nant perhaps  with  sinister  meaning: 

"  What  is  the  cause  of  their  affection  ?  A  problem  ! 
and,  as  Bazile  says,  who  the  deuce  is  it  that  is  de- 
ceived here  ?  " 

This  was,  beyond  all  doubt,  Hussonnet's  revenge 
against  Frederick  for  having  refused  him  five  thou- 
sand francs. 


What  was  he  to  do?  If  he  demanded  an  explana- 
tion, the  Bohemian  would  protest  that  he  was  inno- 
cent, and  nothing  would  be  gained.  The  best  course 
was  to  swallow  the  affront  in  silence.  Nobody,  after 
all,  read  the  Flambard. 

As  he  left  the  reading-room,  he  saw  some  people 
standing  in  front  of  a  picture-dealer's  shop.  They 
were  looking  at  the  portrait  of  a  woman,  with  this 
line  traced  underneath  in  black  4etters :  "  Mademoi- 
selle Rosanette  Bron,  belonging  to  Monsieur  Frederick 
Moreau  of  Nogent." 

It  was  indeed  she — or  at  least,  like  her — her  full 
face  displayed,  her  bosom  uncovered,  her  hair  hang- 
ing loose,  and  a  purse  of  red  velvet  in  her  hand,  while 
behind  her  a  peacock  leaned  his  beak  over  her  shoul- 
der, covering  the  wall  with  his  immense  plumage  in 
the  shape  of  a  fan. 

Pellerin  had  got  up  this  exhibition  in  order  to  com- 
pel Frederick  to  pay,  persuaded  that  he  was  a  celeb- 
rity, and  that  all  Paris,  roused  to  take  his  part,  would 
be  interested  in  this  wretched  piece  of  work. 

Was  this  a  conspiracy?  Had  the  painter  and  the 
journalist  maliciously  agreed  to  attack  him  at  the  same 

His  duel  had  not  put  a  stop  to  anything.  He  had 
become  an  object  of  ridicule,  and  everyone  had  been 
laughing  at  him. 

Three  days  afterward,  at  the  end  of  June,  the  North- 
ern shares  having  risen  fifteen  francs,  and  he  having 
bought  two  thousand  of  them  within  the  past  month, 
he  found  that  he  had  made  thirty  thousand  francs. 
This  caress  of  fortune  gave  him  renewed  self-confi- 
dence. He  said  to  himself  that  he  needed  nobody's 
help,  and  that  all  his  embarrassments  were  the  result 
of  his  timidity  and  indecision.  He  ought  to  have  be- 


gun  his  intrigue  with  the  Marechale  with  brutal  di- 
rectness and  refused  Hussonnet  the  very  first  day. 
He  should  not  have  compromised  himself  with  Pelle- 
rin.  And,  in  order  to  show  that  he  was  not  at  all 
embarrassed,  he  presented  himself  at  one  of  Madame 
Dambreuse's  ordinary  evening  parties. 

In  the  middle  of  the  anteroom,  Martinon,  who  had 
arrived  at  the  same  time,  turned  round : 

"  What !  you  are*  visiting  here  ?  "  with  a  look  of 
surprise  and  displeasure. 

"Why  not?" 

And,  while  wondering  what  could  be  the  cause  of 
such  a  display  of  hostility  on  Martinon's  part,  Fred- 
erick made  his  way  into  the  drawing-room. 

The  light  was  dim,  in  spite  of  the  lamps  placed  in 
the  corners,  for  the  three  windows,  which  were  wide 
open,  made  three  squares  of  black  shadows  parallel 
with  each  other.  Under  the  pictures,  flower-stands 
occupied,  at  a  man's  height,  the  spaces  on  the  walls, 
and  a  silver  teapot  with  a  samovar  cast  their  reflec- 
tions in  a  mirror  on  the  background.  There  was  a 
murmur  of  hushed  voices.  Pumps  could  be  heard 
creaking  on  the  carpet.  He  could  distinguish  a  num- 
ber of  black  coats,  then  a  round  table  lighted  up  by 
a  large  shaded  lamp,  seven  or  eight  ladies  in  summer 
toilets,  and  at  some  little  distance  Madame  Dam- 
breuse  in  a  rocking  armchair.  Her  dress  of  lilac  taf- 
feta had  slashed  sleeves,  from  which  fell  muslin  puffs, 
the  charming  tint  of  the  material  harmonising  with 
the  shade  of  her  hair;  and  she  sat  slightly  back  with 
the  tip  of  her  foot  on  a  cushion. 

M.  Dambreuse  and  an  old  gentleman  with  a  white 
head  were  walking  from  one  end  of  the  drawing-room 
to  the  other.  Some  of  the  guests  chatted  here  and 
there,  sitting  on  the  edges  of  little  sofas,  while  others, 


standing  up,  formed  a  circle  in  the  centre  of  the  apart- 

They  were  talking-  about  votes,  amendments,  coun- 
ter-amendments, M.  Grandin's  speech,  and  M.  Be- 
noist's  reply.  The  third  party  had  decidedly  gone  too 
far.  The  Left  Centre  ought  to  have  had  a  better  rec- 
ollection of  its  origin.  Serious  attacks  had  been  made 
on  the  ministry.  It  must  be  reassuring,  however,  to 
see  that  it  had  no  successor.  In  short,  the  situation 
was  completely  analogous  to  that  of  1834. 

As  these  things  bored  Frederick,  he  drew  near  the 
ladies.  Martinon  was  with  them,  standing  up,  with 
his  hat  under  his  arm,  showing  himself  in  three-quar- 
ter profile,  and  looking  so  neat  that  he  resembled  a 
piece  of  Sevres  porcelain.  He  took  up  a  copy  of  the 
Revue  des  Deux  Mondes  which  was  lying  on  the 
table  between  an  Imitation  and  an  Almanack  de  Gotha, 
and  spoke  of  a  distinguished  poet  in  a  contemptuous 
tone,  remarked  he  was  going  to  the  "  conferences  of 
Saint-Francis,"  complained  of  his  larynx,  swallowed 
from  time  to  time  a  pellet  of  gummatum,  and  in  the 
meantime  kept  talking  about  music,  and  played  the 
part  of  the  elegant  trifler.  Mademoiselle  Cecile,  M. 
Dambreuse's  niece,  who  happened  to  be  embroidering 
a  pair  of  ruffles,  gazed  at  him  with  her  pale  blue  eyes ; 
and  Miss  John,  the  governess,  who  had  a  flat  nose, 
laid  aside  her  tapestry  on  his  account.  Both  of  them 
appeared  to  be  exclaiming  internally: 

"  How  handsome  he  is !  " 

Madame  Dambreuse  turned  toward  him. 

"  Please  give  me  my  fan ;  it  is  on  that  pier-table 
over  there.  You  are  taking  the  wrong-  one!  the 
other !  " 

She  rose,  and  as  he  came  across  to  her,  they  met  in 
the  middle  of  the  drawing-room  face  to  face.  She 


addressed  a  few  sharp  words  to  him,  no  doubt  of  a 
reproachful  character,  judging  by  the  haughty  ex- 
pression of  her  face.  Martinon  tried  to  smile ;  then 
he  joined  the  circle  in  which  grave  men  were  holding 
discussions.  Madame  Dambreuse  resumed  her  seat, 
and,  bending  over  the  arm  of  her  chair,  said  to  Fred- 
erick : 

"  I  saw  somebody  the  day  before  yesterday  who 
was  speaking  about  you — Monsieur  de  Cisy.  You 
know  him,  don't  you?" 

"  Yes,  slightly." 

Suddenly  Madame  Dambreuse  uttered  an  exclama- 

"  Oh !  Duchesse,  what  a  pleasure  to  see  you !  " 

And  she  advanced  toward  the  door  to  meet  a  little 
old  lady  in  a  Carmelite  taffeta  gown  and  a  cap  of  gui- 
pure with  long  borders.  The  daughter  of  a  compan- 
ion in  exile  of  the  Comte  d'Artois,  and  the  widow 
of  a  marshal  of  the  Empire,  who  had  been  created  a 
peer  of  France  in  1830,  she  adhered  to  the  court  of  a 
former  generation  as  well  as  to  the  new  court,  and 
possessed  sufficient  influence  to  procure  many  things. 
Those  who  stood  talking  stepped  aside,  and  then  re- 
sumed their  conversation. 

It  had  now  turned  on  pauperism,  of  which,  accord- 
ing to  these  gentlemen,  all  the  descriptions  that  had 
been  given  were  grossly  exaggerated. 

"  However,"  urged  Martinon,  "  let  us  confess  that 
there  is  such  a  thing  as  poverty !  But  the  remedy  de- 
pends neither  on  science  nor  on  power.  It  is  purely 
an  individual  question.  When  the  lower  classes  are 
willing  to  give  up  their  vices,  they  will  free  them- 
selves from  their  necessities.  Let  the  people  be  more 
moral,  and  they  will  be  less  poor !  " 

According  to  M.  Dambreuse,  nothing  could  be  at- 


tainecl  without  a  superabundance  of  capital.  There- 
fore, the  only  practicable  method  was  to  intrust,  "  as 
the  Saint- Simonians,  however,  proposed  (good  heav- 
ens !  there  was  some  merit  in  their  views — let  us  be 
just  to  everybody) — to  intrust,  I  say,  the  cause  of 
progress  to  those  who  can  increase  the  public  wealth." 
By  degrees  they  began  to  touch  on  great  industrial 
undertakings — the  railways,  the  coal-mines.  And  M. 
Dambreuse,  addressing  Frederick,  said  to  him  in  a 
low  whisper: 

"  You  have  not  called  to  see  me  about  that  busi- 
ness of  ours?  " 

Frederick  pleaded  illness ;  but,  feeling  that  this  ex- 
cuse was  too  absurd,  added: 

"  Besides,  I  need  my  ready  money." 

"Is  it  to  buy  a  carriage?"  asked  Madame  Dam- 
breuse, who  was  brushing  past  him  with  a  cup  of  tea 
in  her  hand,  and  for  a  minute  she  looked  him  in  the 
face  with  her  head  inclined  slightly  over  her  shoul- 

She  believed  that  he  was  Rosanette's  lover — the 
allusion  was  obvious.  It  seemed  to  Frederick  that  all 
the  ladies  were  staring  at  him  and  whispering  to  one 

In  order  to  get  a  better  idea  as  to  what  they  were 
thinking,  he  once  more  approached  them.  On  the 
opposite  side  of  the  table,  Martinon,  seated  near  Ma- 
demoiselle Cecile,  was  turning  over  the  leaves  of  an 
album.  It  contained  lithographs  representing  Span- 
ish costumes.  He  read  the  descriptive  titles  aloud : 
A  Lady  of  Seville,  A  Valencia  Gardener,  An  Andalu- 
sian  Picador ;  and  once,  when  he  had  reached  the  bot- 
tom of  the  page,  he  continued  all  in  one  breath : 

"  Jacques  Arnoux,  publisher.  One  of  your  friends, 
no  doubt  ?  " 


"  That  is  so,"  said  Frederick,  hurt  by  the  tone  he 
had  assumed. 

Madame  Dambreuse  again  interposed: 

"  In  fact,  you  called  here  one  morning — about  a 
house,  I  believe — a  house  belonging  to  his  wife." 
(This  meant:  "She  is  your  mistress.") 

He  blushed  up  to  his  ears ;  and  M.  Dambreuse,  who 
joined  them  at  the  same  moment,  made  this  additional 
remark : 

"  You  appear  to  be  deeply  interested  in  them." 

These  last  words  had  the  effect  of  putting  Fred- 
erick entirely  out  of  countenance.  His  confusion, 
which,  he  could  not  help  feeling,  was  evident  to  them, 
and  was  on  the  point  of  confirming  their  suspicions, 
when  M.  Dambreuse  drew  close  to  him,  and,  in  a  tone 
of  great  seriousness,  said : 

"  I  suppose  you  don't  do  business  together?  " 

He  protested  by  repeated  shakes  of  the  head,  with- 
out realising  the  exact  meaning  of  the  capitalist,  who 
wished  to  give  him  advice. 

He  felt  a  desire  to  leave ;  a  servant  removed  the 
teacups.  Madame  Dambreuse  was  talking  to  a  diplo- 
matist in  a  blue  coat.  Two  young  girls,  putting  their 
heads  close  together,  showed  each  other  their  jewellery. 
The  others,  seated  in  a  semicircle  on  armchairs,  kept 
gently  moving  their  white  faces  crowned  with  black 
or  fair  hair.  Nobody,  in  fact,  minded  them.  Freder- 
ick turned ;  and,  by  a  succession  of  long  zigzags,  had 
almost  reached  the  door,  when,  passing  close  to  a 
bracket,  he  remarked  on  the  top  of  it  a  journal  folded 
in  two.  He  drew  it  out  a  little,  and  read  these  words — 
The  Flambard. 

Who  had  brought  it  there?  Cisy.  Obviously  no 
one  else.  What  did  it  matter,  however?  They  would 
believe — already,  perhaps,  everyone  believed — in  the 


article.  What  was  the  cause  of  this  bitterness?  He 
wrapped  himself  up  in  ironical  silence.  He  felt  as  if 
lost  in  a  desert.  Suddenly  he  heard  Martinon's  voice : 
'  Talking  of  Arnoux,  I  saw  in  the  newspapers, 
amongst  the  names  of  those  accused  of  preparing  in- 
cendiary bombs,  that  of  one  of  his  employes,  Senecal. 
Is  that  our  Senecal  ?  " 

"  The  very  same  !  " 

Martinon  repeated  several  times  very  loudly: 

"  What  ?  our  Senecal !  our  Senecal !  " 

Then  questions  were  asked  him  about  the  conspir- 
acy. It  was  assumed  that  his  connection  with  the 
prosecutor's  office  ought  to  enable  him  to  give  some 
information  on  the  subject. 

He  declared  that  he  knew  nothing.  He  had  seen 
him  only  two  or  three  times.  He  positively  regarded 
him  as  a  very  ill-conditioned  fellow.  Frederick  ex- 
claimed indignantly: 

"  Not  at  all !  he  is  a  very  honest  fellow." 

"  All  the  same,  Monsieur,"  said  a  landowner,  "  no 
conspirator  can  be  an  honest  man." 

Most  of  the  men  present  had  served  at  least  four 
governments ;  and  they  would  have  sold  France  or 
the  human  race  in  order  to  preserve  their  own  incomes, 
to  save  themselves  from  any  discomfort  or  embarrass- 
ment, or  even  through  sheer  baseness,  through  wor- 
ship of  force.  They  all  insisted  that  political  crimes 
were  inexcusable.  It  would  be  less  harmful  to  pardon 
those  which  were  provoked  by  want.  And  they  did 
not  fail  to  put  forward  the  eternal  illustration  of  the 
father  of  a  family  stealing  the  eternal  loaf  of  bread 
from  the  eternal  baker. 

A  gentleman  occupying  an  administrative  office  even 
went  so  far  as  to  exclaim : 

"  For  my  part,  Monsieur,  if  I  were  told  that  my 


own  brother  were  a  conspirator  I  would  denounce 
him !  " 

Frederick  invoked  the  right  of  resistance,  and  re- 
calling some  phrases  that  Deslatiriers  had  used  in 
their  conversations,  he  referred  to  Delosmes,  Black- 
stone,  the  English  Bill  of  Rights,  and  Article  2  of 
the  Constitution  of  '91.  It  was  by  virtue  of  this  law 
that  the  fall  of  Napoleon  had  been  proclaimed.  It 
had  been  recognised  in  1830,  and  inscribed  at  the  head 
of  the  Charter.  Besides,  when  the  sovereign  fails  to 
fulfil  his  contract,  justice  requires  that  he  should  be 

"Why,  this  is  abominable !  "  exclaimed  a  prefect's 

The  others  remained  silent,  filled  with  vague  ter- 
ror, as  if  they  had  heard  the  noise  of  bullets.  Madame 
Dambreuse  rocked  herself  in  her  chair,  and  smilingly 
listened  to  him. 

A  manufacturer,  who  had  formerly  been  a  member 
of  the  Carbonari,  tried  to  show  that  the  Orleans  fam- 
ily possessed  good  qualities.  No  doubt  there  were 
some  abuses. 

"Well,  what  then?" 

"  But  we  should  not  talk  abort  them,  my  dear  Mon- 
sieur !  If  you  knew  how  all  these  clamourings  of 
the  Opposition  injure  business !  " 

"  What  do  I  care  about  business  ?  "  said  Frederick. 

Frederick  was  exasperated  by  the  rottenness  of  these 
old  men ;  and,  carried  away  by  the  recklessness  which 
sometimes  takes  possession  of  even  the  most  timid, 
he  attacked  the  financiers,  the  deputies,  the  govern- 
ment, the  king,  defended  the  Arabs,  and  gave  vent  to 
a  great  deal  of  abusive  language.  A  few  of  those 
around  him  encouraged  him  in  a  spirit  of  irony: 

"  Go  on,  pray !  continue !  "  whilst  others  muttered : 


'•  The  deuce !  what  enthusiasm  !  "  At  last  he  thought 
it  was  time  to  retire ;  and,  as  he  was  going  away,  M. 
Dambreuse  said  to  him,  alluding  to  the  post  of  secre- 
tary : 

"  Xo  definite  arrangement  has  been  yet  arrived  at ; 
but  make  haste  !  " 

And  Madame  Dambreuse : 

"You'll  call  again  soon,  will  you  not?" 

Frederick  considered  their  parting  words  a  last 
mockery.  He  had  resolved  never  to  come  back  to  this 
house,  or  to  visit  any  of  these  people  again.  He  imag- 
ined that  he  had  offended  them,  not  realising  what 
vast  funds  of  indifference  society  possesses.  These 
women  especially  excited  his  indignation.  Not  a  sin- 
gle one  of  them  had  supported  him  even  with  a  look 
of  sympathy.  He  felt  angry  with  them  for  not  having 
been  moved  by  his  words.  As  for  Madame  Dam- 
breuse, he  found  in  her  something  at  the  same  time 
languid  and  cold,  which  prevented  him  from  defining 
her  character  by  a  phrase.  Had  she  a  lover?  and,  if 
so,  who  was  her  lover?  Was  it  the  diplomatist  or 
some  other  ?  Perhaps  it  was  Martinon  ?  Impossible  ! 
Nevertheless,  he  experienced  a  sort  of  jealousy  against 
Martinon,  and  an  unaccountable  ill-feeling  against  her. 

Dussardier,  having  called  this  evening  as  usual,  was 
awaiting  him.  Frederick's  heart  was  swelling  with 
bitterness ;  he  unburdened  it,  and  his  grievances, 
though  vague  and  hard  to  understand,  saddened  the 
honest  shop -assistant.  He  even  complained  of  his 
isolation.  Dussardier,  after  some  hesitation,  suggested 
that  they  might  call  on  Deslauriers. 

Frederick,  at  the  mention  of  the  advocate's  name, 
was  seized  with  a  longing  to  see  him  again.  He  was 
now  living  in  the  midst  of  profound  intellectual  soli- 
tude, and  found  Dussardier's  company  insufficient.  In 


reply  to  the  latter's  question,  Frederick  told  him  to 
arrange  matters  any  way  he  liked. 

Deslauriers  had  likewise,  since  their  quarrel,  felt  a 
void  in  his  life.  He  yielded  without  much  reluctance 
to  the  cordial  advances  which  were  made  to  him.  The 
pair  embraced  each  other,  then  began  chatting  about 
matters  of  no  consequence. 

Frederick's  heart  was  touched  by  Deslauriers'  re- 
serve, and  in  order  to  make  him  a  sort  of  reparation, 
he  told  the  other  next  day  how  he  had  lost  the  fifteen 
thousand  francs,  without  mentioning  that  these  fif- 
teen thousand  francs  had  been  originally  intended  for 
him.  The  advocate,  nevertheless,  had  a  shrewd  sus- 
picion of  the  truth;  and  this  misadventure,  which  jus- 
tified, in  his  own  mind,  his  prejudices  against  Arnoux, 
entirely  disarmed  his  rancour ;  and  he  did  not  again 
refer  to  the  promise  made  by  his  friend  on  a  former 

Frederick,  misled  by  his  silence,  thought  he  had 
forgotten  all  about  it.  A  few  days  later,  he  asked  Des- 
lauriers whether  there  was  any  way  in  which  he  couid 
get  back  his  money. 

They  might  raise  the  point  that  the  prior  mortgage 
was  fraudulent,  and  might  take  proceedings  against 
the  wife  personally. 

"  No !  no !  not  against  her !  "  exclaimed  Frederick, 
and,  yielding  to  the  ex-law  clerk's  questions,  he  con- 
fessed the  truth.  Deslauriers  was  convinced  that 
Frederick  had  not  told  him  everything,  no  doubt 
through  a  feeling  of  delicacy.  He  was  hurt  by  this 
want  of  confidence. 

They  were,  however,  on  the  same  intimate  terms 
as  before,  and  they  found  so  much  pleasure  in  each 
other's  society  that  Dussardier's  presence  was  an  ob- 
stacle to  their  free  intercourse.  Under  the  pretence 


that  they  had  appointments,  they  gradually  got  rid 
of  him. 

There  are  some  men  whose  only  mission  amongst 
their  fellow-men  is  to  serve  as  go-betweens;  people 
use  them  as  if  they  were  bridges,  by  stepping  over 
them  and  going  on  farther. 

Frederick  concealed  nothing  from  his  old  friend. 
He  told  him  about  the  coal-mine  speculation  and  M. 
Dambreuse's  proposal.  The  advocate  grew  somewhat 

"  That's  queer !  For  such  a  post  a  man  with  a  thor- 
ough knowledge  of  law  would  be  required !  " 

"  But  you  could  assist  me,"  returned  Frederick. 

"  Yes ! hold  on  !  faith,  yes  !  certainly." 

During  the  same  week  Frederick  showed  Deslau- 
riers  a  letter  from  his  mother. 

Madame  Moreau  accused  herself  of  having  mis- 
judged M.  Roque,  who  had  given  a  satisfactory  ex- 
planation of  his  conduct.  Then  she  spoke  of  his 
wealth,  and  of  the  possibility,  later,  of  a  marriage 
with  Louise. 

''  That  would  not  be  a  bad  match,"  said  Deslauriers. 

Frederick  said  it  was  entirely  out  of  the  question. 
Besides,  Pere  Roque  was  an  old  trickster.  That  in 
no  way  affected  the  matter,  in  the  advocate's  opinion. 

At  the  end  of  July,  an  unaccountable  diminution  in 
value  made  the  Northern  shares  fall.  Frederick  had 
not  sold  his.  He  lost  sixty  thousand  francs  in  one 
day.  His  income  was  considerably  reduced.  He 
would  be  forced  to  curtail  his  expenditure,  or  take  up 
some  calling,  or  make  a  brilliant  catch  in  the  matri- 
monial market. 

Then  Deslauriers  spoke  of  Mademoiselle  Roque. 
There  was  nothing  to  prevent  him  from  judging  of 
things  by  seeing  for  himself.  Frederick  was  rather 


tired  of  city  life.  Provincial  existence  and  the  ma- 
ternal roof  would  be  a  sort  of  recreation  for  him. 

The  appearance  of  the  streets  of  Nogent,  as  he 
passed  through  them  in  the  moonlight,  brought  back 
old  memories  to  his  mind ;  and  he  experienced  a  kind 
of  pang,  like  persons  who  have  just  returned  home 
after  a  long  period  of  travel. 

At  his  mother's  house,  all  the  country  visitors  had 
assembled  as  in  former  days — MM.  Gamblin,  Heudras, 
and  Chambrion,  the  Lebrun  family,  "  those  young  la- 
dies, the  Augers,"  and,  in  addition,  Pere  Roque,  and, 
seated  opposite  Madame  Moreau  at  a  card-table,  Ma- 
demoiselle Louise.  She  was  now  a  woman.  She 
sprang  to  her  feet  with  a  cry  of  delight.  They  were 
all  in  a  flutter  of  excitement.  She  remained  standing 
motionless,  and  the  pallor  of  her  face  was  intensified 
by  the  light  issuing  from  four  silver  candlesticks. 

When  she  resumed  play,  her  hand  was  trembling. 
This  emotion  was  exceedingly  flattering  to  Frederick, 
whose  pride  had  been  sorely  wounded  of  late.  He 
said  to  himself :  "  You,  at  any  rate,  will  love  me !  " 
and,  as  if  he  were  thus  taking  his  revenge  for  the  hu- 
miliations he  had  endured  in  the  capital,  he  began  to 
affect  the  Parisian  lion,  retailed  all  the  theatrical  gos- 
sip, told  anecdotes  as  to  the  doings  of  society,  which 
he  had  learned  from  the  columns  of  the  cheap  news- 
papers, and,  in  short,  dazzled  his  fellow-townspeople. 

Next  morning,  Madame  Moreau  expatiated  on 
Louise's  fine  qualities ;  then  she  enumerated  the  woods 
and  farms  of  which  she  would  be  the  owner.  Pere 
Roque's  wealth  was  considerable. 

He  had  acquired  it  while  making  investments  for 
M.  Dambreuse ;  for  he  had  lent  money  to  persons  who 
were  able  to  give  good  security  in  the  shape  of  mort- 
gages, whereby  he  was  enabled  to  demand  additional 


sums  or  commissions.  The  capital,  owing  to  his  ener- 
getic vigilance,  was  in  no  danger  of  being  lost.  Be- 
sides, Pere  Roque  never  hesitated  to  make  a  seizure. 
He  bought  up  the  mortgaged  property  at  a  low  price, 
and  M.  Dambreuse,  having  got  back  his  money,  found 
his  affairs  in  very  good  order. 

But  this  manipulation  of  business  matters  in  a  way 
which  was  not  strictly  legal  compromised  M.  Dam- 
breuse with  his  agent.  He  could  refuse  Pere  Roque 
nothing,  and  it  was  owing  to  the  latter's  solicitations 
that  he  had  received  Frederick  so  cordially. 

The  truth  was  that  in  the  depths  of  his  soul  Pere 
Roque  cherished  a  deep-rooted  ambition.  He  wished 
his  daughter  to  be  a  countess ;  and  for  the  purpose  of 
gaining  this  object,  without  imperilling  the  happiness 
of  his  child,  he  knew  no  other  young  man  so  suitable 
as  Frederick. 

Through  the  influence  of  M.  Dambreuse,  he  could 
obtain  the  title  of  his  maternal  grandfather,  Madame 
Moreau  being  the  daughter  of  a  Comte  de  Fouvens, 
and  besides,  being  connected  with  the  oldest  families 
in  Champagne,  the  Lavernades  and  the  D'Etrignys. 
As  for  the  Moreaus,  a  Gothic  inscription  near  the 
mills  of  Villeneuve-rArcheveque  referred  to  one  Ja- 
cob Moreau,  who  had  rebuilt  them  in  1596;  and  the 
tomb  of  his  own  son,  Pierre  Moreau,  first  esquire  of 
the  King  under  Louis  XIV,  was  to  be  seen  in  the 
chapel  of  Saint-Nicholas. 

So  much  family  distinction  fascinated  M.  Roque, 
the  son  of  an  old  servant.  If  the  coronet  of  a  count 
could  not  be  had,  he  would  console  himself  with  some- 
thing else ;  Frederick  might  get  a  deputyship  when 
M.  Dambreuse  had  been  raised  to  the  peerage,  and 
would  then  assist  him  in  his  commercial  pursuits,  and 
obtain  for  him  supplies  and  grants.  He  liked  the 


young  man  personally.  In  short,  he  desired  Frederick 
for  a  son-in-law,  because  for  a  long  time  past  he  had 
been  smitten  with  this  notion,  which  grew  stronger 
clay  by  day.  Now  he  went  to  religious  services,  and 
had  won  Madame  Moreau  over  to  his  views,  especially 
by  holding  before  her  the  prospect  of  a  title. 

So,  eight  days  later,  without  there  being  any  for- 
mal engagement,  Frederick  was  regarded  as  Mademoi- 
selle Roque's  "  intended,"  and  Pere  Roque,  not  being 
troubled  with  scruples,  often  left  them  together. 



FREDERICK  had  given  Deslauriers  the  copy  of 
the  deed  of  subrogation,  with  a  power  of  at- 
torney, giving  him  full  authority  to  act ;  but, 
when  he  had  ascended  his  own  five  flights  of  stairs  and 
sat  alone  in  the  midst  of  his  dismal  room,  in  his  arm- 
chair upholstered  in  sheep-leather,  the  very  sight  of 
the  stamped  paper  disgusted  him. 

He  was  sick  of  these  things,  and  of  restaurants  at 
thirty-two  sous,  of  travelling  in  omnibuses,  of  en- 
during want  and  making  futile  efforts.  He  picked  up 
the  papers  again ;  there  were  others  with  them.  They 
were  prospectuses  of  the  coal-mining  company,  with 
a  list  of  the  mines  and  the  particulars  as  to  their  con- 
tents, Frederick  having  given  all  these  matters  to  him 
in  order  to  have  his  opinion  on  them. 

An  idea  occurred  to  him — that  of  presenting  himself 
at  M.  Dambreuse's  house  and  applying  for  the  post 
of  secretary.  This  post,  it  was  perfectly  certain,  could 
not  be  obtained  without  purchasing  a  certain  number 
of  shares.  Recognising  the  folly  of  his  project,  he 
said  to  himself: 

"  Oh !  no,  that  would  be  a  wrong  step." 

Then  he  ransacked  his  brains  to  think  of  the  best 
way  in  which  he  could  set  about  recovering  the  fif- 
teen thousand  francs.  Such  an  amount  was  a  mere 
trifle  to  Frederick.  But,  if  he  had  it,  what  a  power  it 
would  be  in  his  hands!  And  the  ex-law  clerk  was 
indignant  at  the  other  being  so  well  off. 


"  He  makes  a  miserable  use  of  it.  He  is  a  selfish 
fellow.  Ah !  what  do  I  care  for  his  fifteen  thousand 
francs !  " 

Why  had  he  lent  the  money?  For  the  sake  of 
Madame  Arnoux's  bright  eyes.  She  was  his  mis- 
tress !  Deslauriers  had  no  doubt  about  it.  "  That  was 
another  way  in  which  money  was  useful !  " 

And  he  was  assailed  by  malignant  thoughts. 

Then  he  allowed  his  mind  to  dwell  on  Frederick's 
personal  appearance.  It  had  always  exercised  over  him 
an  almost  feminine  charm ;  and  he  soon  came  to  admire 
it  for  a  success  which  he  realised  that  he  was  himself 
incapable  of  achieving. 

"  Nevertheless,  was  not  the  will  the  main  element 
in  every  enterprise?  and,  since  by  its  means  we  may 
triumph  over  everything " 

"  Ha !  that  would  be  droll !  " 

But  he  felt  ashamed  of  such  treachery,  and  the  next 
moment : 

"  Pooh  !  am  I  afraid  ?  " 

Madame  Arnoux — from  having  heard  her  spoken 
about  so  often — was  pictured  in  his  imagination  as 
something  extraordinary.  The  persistency  of  this  pas- 
sion had  irritated  him  like  a  problem.  Her  austerity, 
which  seemed  a  little  theatrical,  now  annoyed  him. 
Besides,  the  woman  of  the  world — or,  rather,  his  own 
conception  of  her — dazzled  the  advocate  as  a  symbol 
and  the  epitome  of  a  thousand  pleasures.  Poor  though 
he  was,  he  hankered  after  luxury  in  its  more  glittering 

"  After  all,  if  he  should  get  angry,  so  much  the 
worse!  He  has  behaved  too  badly  to  me  to  call  for 
any  anxiety  about  him  on  my  part!  I  have  no  assur- 
ance that  she  is  his  mistress !  He  has  denied  it. 
Therefore,  I  am  free  to  act  as  I  please !  " 


He  could  no  longer  abandon  the  desire  of  taking  this 
step.  He  wished  to  make  a  trial  of  his  own  strength, 
so  that  one  day,  all  of  a  sudden,  he  polished  his  boots 
himself,  bought  white  gloves,  and  set  out,  substituting 
himself  for  Frederick,  and  almost  imagining  that  he 
was  the  other  by  a  singular  intellectual  evolution,  in 
which  there  was,  at  the  same  time,  vengeance  and  sym- 
pathy, imitation  and  audacity. 

He  announced  himself  as  "  Doctor  Deslauriers." 

Madame  Arnoux  expressed  surprise,  as  she  had  not 
sent  for  any  physician. 

"  Ha  !  a  thousand  apologies  ! — 'tis  a  doctor  of  law  ! 
I  have  come  in  Monsieur  Moreau's  interest." 

This  name  appeared  to  produce  a  disquieting  ef- 
fect on  her  mind. 

"  So  much  the  better !  "  thought  the  ex-law  clerk. 

"  Since  she  has  a  fancy  for  him,  she  will  like  me, 
too !  "  buoying  up  his  courage  with  the  accepted  idea 
that  it  is  much  easier  to  supplant  a  lover  than  a  hus- 

He  referred  to  the  fact  that  he  had  the  pleasure  of 
meeting  her  on  one  occasion  at  the  law-courts ;  he 
even  mentioned  the  date.  This  remarkable  memory  as- 
tonished Madame  Arnoux.  He  went  on  in  a  tone  of 
mild  affectation : 

"  You  have  already  found  your  affairs  a  little  em- 
barrassing? " 

She  made  no  reply. 

"  Then  it  must  be  true." 

He  began  to  chat  about  one  thing  or  another,  her 
house,  the  works ;  then,  noticing  some  medallions  at 
the  sides  of  the  mirror : 

"  Ha!  family  portraits,  no  doubt?" 

He  indicated  that  of  an  old  lady,  Madame  Ar- 
noux's  mother. 


"  She  has  the  appearance  of  an  excellent  woman,  a 
southern  type." 

And,  on  being  met  with  the  objection  that  she  was 
from  Chartres : 

"  Chartres  !  pretty  town  !  " 

He  praised  its  cathedrals  and  public  buildings,  and 
coming  back  to  the  portrait,  traced  resemblances  be- 
tween it  and  Madame  Arnoux,  flattering  her  indi- 
rectly. She  did  not  appear  to  be  offended  at  this.  He 
took  confidence,  and  said  that  he  had  known  Arnoux 
a  long  time. 

"  He  is  a  fine  fellow,  but  one  who  compromises 
himself.  Take  this  mortgage,  for  example — one  can't 
imagine  such  a  reckless  act — 

"  Yes,  I  know,"  said  she,  shrugging  her  shoulders. 

This  involuntary  evidence  of  contempt  encouraged 
Deslauriers  to  continue.  "  That  kaolin  business  of 
his  was  near  turning  out  very  badly,  a  thing  you  may 
not  be  aware  of,  and  even  his  reputation ' 

A  contraction  of  her  brows  made  him  pause. 

Then,  falling  back  on  generalities,  he  expressed  his 
sympathy  for  the  "  poor  women  whose  husbands  frit- 
tered away  their  means." 

"  But  in  this  case,  Monsieur,  the  means  belong  to 
him.  As  for  me,  I  have  nothing !  " 

No  matter,  one  never  knows.  A  woman  of  expe- 
rience might  be  useful.  He  made  offers  of  devotion, 
exalted  his  own  merits,  while  he  looked  into  her  face 
through  his  shining  spectacles. 

She  was  seized  with  a  vague  torpor ;  but  suddenly 

"  Let  us  look  into  the  matter,  I  beg  of  you." 

He  opened  a  bundle  of  papers. 

"  This  is  Frederick's  letter  of  attorney.  With  such 
a  document  in  the  hands  of  a  process-server,  who 


would  make  out  an  order,  nothing  could  be  easier; 
in  twenty-four  hours —  "  (She  remained  impassive; 
he  changed  his  manoeuvre.) 

"  As  for  me,  however,  I  don't  understand  what 
causes  him  to  demand  this  sum,  for,  in  fact,  he  doesn't 
need  it." 

"  How  is  that  ?  Monsieur  Moreau  has  been  very 

"  Oh  !  granted  !  " 

And  Deslauriers  began  by  eulogising  him,  then  in 
a  mild  fashion  disparaged  him,  stating  that  he  was  a 
forgetful  individual,  and  over-fond  of  money. 

"I  thought  he  was  your  friend,  Monsieur?" 

'  That  does  not  prevent  me  from  seeing  his  de- 
fects. Thus,  he  showed  very  little  recognition  of — 
how  shall  I  put  it? — the  sympathy — 

Madame  Arnoux  was  turning  over  the  leaves  of  a 
large  manuscript  book. 

She  interrupted  him  in  order  to  ask  him  to  explain 
a  certain  word. 

He  bent  over  her  shoulder,  and  his  face  came  so 
close  to  hers  that  he  grazed  her  cheek.  She  blushed. 
This  heightened  colour  inflamed  Deslauriers ;  he  hun- 
grily kissed  her  head. 

"What  do  you  mean,  Monsieur?"  And,  standing 
against  the  wall,  she  compelled  him  to  remain  per- 
fectly quiet  under  the  glance  of  her  large  blue  eyes, 
glowing  writh  anger. 

"  Listen  to  me !    I  love  you !  " 

She  broke  into  a  laugh,  a  shrill,  contemptuous 
laugh.  Deslauriers  felt  himself  suffocating  with  an- 
ger. He  restrained  his  feelings,  and,  with  the  expres- 
sion of  a  vanquished  person  imploring  mercy : 

"  Ha !  you  are  wrong !  As  for  me.  I  would  not 
leave  you  as  he  has  left." 


"Of  whom,  pray,  are  you  talking?" 

"  Of  Frederick." 

"  Ah !  Monsieur  Moreau  troubles  me  little.  I  told 
you  that !  " 

"  Oh  !  forgive  me  !  forgive  me  !  "  Then,  drawling 
his  words,  in  a  sarcastic  tone: 

"  I  even  fancied  that  you  were  sufficiently  interested 
in  him  personally  to  learn  with  pleasure " 

She  grew  pale.     The  ex-law  clerk  added: 

"  He  is  about  to  be  married." 

"  He !  "• 

"  In  a  month  at  latest,  to  Mademoiselle  Roque,  the 
daughter  of  Monsieur  Dambreuse's  agent.  He  has 
gone  down  to  Nogent  for  that  purpose." 

She  placed  her  hand  over  her  heart,  as  if  at  the 
shock  of  a  great  blow ;  then  immediately  rang  the  bell. 
Deslauriers  did  not  wait  to  be  ordered  out.  When 
she  turned  round  he  had  disappeared. 

Madame  Arnoux  was  gasping  a  little  from  the  strain 
of  her  emotions.  She  drew  near  the  window  to  get  a 
breath  of  air. 

On  the  opposite  side  of  the  street,  on  the  foot-path, 
a  packer  in  his  shirt-sleeves  was  nailing  down  a  trunk. 
Hackney-coaches  passed.  She  closed  the  window- 
blinds  and  then  came  and  sat  down.  As  the  high 
houses  in  the  vicinity  intercepted  the  sun's  rays,  the 
light  of  day  stole  coldly  into  the  apartment.  Her 
children  had  gone  out ;  there  was  not  a  stir  around 
her.  It  seemed  as  if  she  were  utterly  deserted. 

"  He  is  going  to  be  married !    Is  it  possible?  " 

And  she  was  seized  with  a  fit  of  nervous  trembling. 

"  Why  is  this  ?    Does  it  mean  that  I  love  him  ?  " 

Then  all  of  a  sudden : 

"  Yes  ;  I  love  him— I  love  him  !  " 

It  seemed  to  her  as  if  she  were  sinking  into  end- 


less  depths.  The  clock  struck  three.  She  listened  to 
the  vibrations  of  the  sounds  as  they  died  away.  And 
she  remained  on  the  edge  of  the  armchair,  with  her 
eyeballs  fixed  and  an  unchanging  smile  on  her  face. 

The  same  afternoon,  at  the  same  moment,  Fred- 
erick and  Mademoiselle  Louise  were  walking  in  M. 
Roque's  garden  at  the  end  of  the  island. 

Old  Catherine  was  watching  them,  some  distance 
away.  They  walked  side  by  side  and  Frederick  said: 

"  You  remember  when  I  brought  you  into  the 
country?  " 

"  How  good  you  were  to  me !  "  she  replied.  "  You 
helped  me  in  making  sand-pies,  in  filling  my  watering- 
pot,  and  you  rocked  me  in  the  swing !  " 

"  All  your  dolls,  who  had  the  names  of  queens  and 
marchionesses — what  has  become  of  them?  " 

"  Really,  I  don't  know  !  " 

"  And  your  pug  Moricaud  ?  " 

"  He's  drowned,  poor  darling !  " 

"  And  the  Don  Quixote  of  which  we  coloured  the 
engravings  together?" 

"  I  have  it  still !  " 

He  recalled  to  her  mind  the  day  of  her  first  com- 
munion, and  how  pretty  she  had  been  at  vespers,  with 
her  white  veil  and  her  large  wax-taper,  whilst  the 
girls  were  all  taking  their  places  in  a  row  around  the 
choir,  and  the  bell  was  tinkling. 

These  memories  had  but  little  charm  for  Mademoi- 
selle Roque.  She  had  not  a  word  to  say;  and,  a 
minute  later : 

"  Naughty  fellow !  never  to  have  written  me  a  line, 
even  once !  " 

Frederick  urged  by  way  of  excuse  his  numerous 

"What,  then,  are  you  doing?" 


He  was  embarrassed  by  the  question ;  then  he  said 
that  he  was  studying  politics. 


And  without  questioning  him  further : 

'  That  gives  you  occupation  ;  while  as  for  me !  " 

Then  she  spoke  about  the  barrenness  of  her  exist- 
ence, as  there  was  nobody  she  could  go  to  see,  and 
nothing  to  amuse  her  or  distract  her  thoughts.  She 
wished  to  ride  on  horseback. 

"  The  vicar  maintains  that  this  is  improper  for  a 
young  lady  !  How  stupid  these  proprieties  are  !  Long 
ago  I  could  do  whatever  I  pleased ;  now,  they  won't 
let  me  do  anything !  " 

"  Your  father,  however,  is  fond  of  you !  " 

"  Yes ;  but— 

She  heaved  a  sigh,  which  meant :  "  That  is  not  suf- 
ficient to  make  me  happy." 

Then  there  was  silence,  except  for  the  noise  made 
by  their  boots  in  the  sand,  and  the  murmur  of  falling 
water;  for  the  Seine,  above  Nogent,  is  cut  into  two 
arms.  That  which  turns  the  mills  discharges  in  this 
place  the  superabundance  of  its  waves  in  order  to 
unite  further  down  with  the  natural  course  of  the 
stream ;  and  coming  from  the  bridge  one  could  see  at 
the  right,  on  the  other  bank  of  the  river,  a  grassy 
slope  overlooked  by  a  white  house.  At  the  left,  in  the 
meadow,  a  row  of  poplar-trees  extended,  and  the  hori- 
zon in  front  was  bounded  by  a  curve  of  the  river.  It 
was  flat,  like  a  mirror.  Large  insects  hovered  over 
the  noiseless  water.  Tufts  of  reeds  and  rushes  formed 
an  uneven  border ;  all  kinds  of  plants  which  happened 
to  spring  up  there  bloomed  out  in  buttercups,  caused 
yellow  clusters  to  hang  down,  raised  trees  in  distaff- 
shape  with  amaranth-blossoms,  and  made  green  rock- 
ets spring  up  at  random.  In  an  inlet  of  the  river  white 


water-lilies  displayed  themselves ;  and  a  row  of  an- 
cient willows,  in  which  wolf-traps  were  hidden,  consti- 
tuted, on  that  side  of  the  island,  the  sole  protection 
of  the  garden. 

In  the  interior,  on  this  side,  four  walls  with  a  slate 
coping  enclosed  the  kitchen-garden,  in  which  the 
square  patches,  recently  dug  up,  looked  like  brown 
plates.  The  bell-glasses  of  the  melons  shone  in  a  row 
on  the  narrow  hotbed.  The  artichokes,  the  kidney- 
beans,  the  spinach,  the  carrots  and  the  tomatoes  suc- 
ceeded each  other  to  a  background  where  asparagus 
grew  so  profusely  that  it  resembled  a  little  wood  of 

This  piece  of  land  had  been  under  the  Directory 
what  is  called  "  a  folly."  The  trees  had,  since  then, 
grown  enormously.  Clematis  obstructed  the  horn- 
beams, the  walks  were  covered  with  moss,  brambles 
abounded  on  every  side.  Fragments  of  plaster  statues 
crumbled  in  the  grass.  The  feet  of  anyone  walking 
through  the  place  got  entangled  in  iron-wire  work. 
There  now  remained  of  the 'pavilion  only  two  apart- 
ments on  the  ground  floor,  with  some  blue  paper  hang- 
ing in  shreds.  Before  the  fagade  extended  an  arbour 
in  the  Italian  style,  in  which  a  vine-tree  was  supported 
on  columns  of  brick  by  a  rail-work  of  sticks. 

Soon  they  arrived  at  this  spot;  and,  as  the  light 
fell  through  the  irregular  gaps  on  the  green  herbage, 
Frederick,  turning  his  head  to  speak  to  Louise,  no- 
ticed the  shadow  of  the  leaves  on  her  face. 

Louise  had  in  her  red  hair,  stuck  in  her  chignon,  a 
needle,  terminated  by  a  glass  bell  in  imitation  of  emer- 
ald, and,  despite  her  mourning,  she  wore  (so  artless 
was  her  bad  taste)  straw  slippers  trimmed  with  pink 
satin — a  vulgar  trifle  probably  bought  at  some  fair. 

He  remarked  this,  and  ironically  congratulated  her. 


"  Don't  laugh  at  me !  "  she  replied. 

Then  surveying  him  altogether,  from  his  grey  felt 
hat  to  his  silk  stockings: 

"  What  an  exquisite  you  are !  " 

After  this,  she  asked  him  to  mention  some  books 
which  she  might  read.  He  named  several ;  and  she 

"  Oh  !  how  learned  you  are !  " 

While  yet  very  young,  she  had  been  smitten  with 
one  of  those  childish  passions  which  have,  at  the 
same  time,  the  purity  of  a  religion  and  the  violence 
of  a  natural  instinct.  He  had  been  her  comrade,  her 
brother,  her  master,  had  diverted  her  mind,  made  her 
heart  beat  more  quickly,  and,  without  any  desire  for 
such  a  result,  had  poured  into  the  very  depths  of  her 
being  a  latent  and  continuous  intoxication.  Then  he 
had  left  her  at  the  moment  of  a  tragic  crisis  in  her 
existence,  when  her  mother  had  only  just  died,  and 
these  two  separations  had  been  mingled  together.  Ab- 
sence had  idealised  him  in  her  memory.  He  had  come 
back  with  a  sort  of  halo  'round  his  head ;  and  she  gave 
herself  up  ingenuously  to  the  feelings  of  bliss  she 
experienced  at  seeing  him  again. 

For  the  first  time  in  his  life  Frederick  felt  himself 
beloved;  and  this  new  pleasure,  which  did  not  tran- 
scend the  ordinary  run  of  agreeable  sensations,  made 
his  breast  swell  with  so  much  emotion  that  he  spread 
out  his  two  arms  and  flung  back  his  head. 

A  large  cloud  passed  across  the  sky. 

"  It  is  going  toward  Paris,"  said  Louise.  "  You'd 
like  to  follow  it — wouldn't  you  ?  " 

"I?    Why?" 

"Who  knows?" 

And  giving  him  a  sharp  look: 

"  Perhaps  you  have  there  "  (she  searched  her  mind 


for  the  appropriate  phrase)  "  something  to  engage 
your  affections." 

"  Oh !  I  have  nothing  to  engage  my  affections 

"Are  you  perfectly  certain?" 

"  Why,  yes,  Mademoiselle,  perfectly  certain !  " 

In  less  than  a  year  there  had  taken  place  in  the 
young  girl  an  extraordinary  transformation,  which  as- 
tonished Frederick.  After  a  minute's  silence  he  added 
softly : 

"  We  should  '  thee  '  and  '  thou  '  each  other,  as  we 
used  to  do  long  ago — shall  we  ?  " 

"  No." 


"  Because " 

He  persisted.     She  answered,  with  downcast  face: 

"  I  dare  not !  " 

They  had  reached  the  end  of  the  garden,  which  was 
close  to  the  shell-bank.  Frederick,  in  a  spirit  of  boy- 
ish fun,  sent  pebbles  skimming  over  the  water.  She 
bade  him  sit  down.  He  obeyed;  then,  looking  at  the 
waterfall : 

"  Tis  like  Niagara !  "  He  began  talking  about  dis- 
tant countries  and  long  voyages.  The  idea  of  travel- 
ling herself  exercised  a  fascination  over  her  mind. 
She  would  not  have  been  afraid  either  of  tempests  or 
of  lions. 

Seated  close  to  each  other,  they  collected  in  front 
of  them  handfuls  of  sand,  then,  while  they  were  chat- 
ting, they  let  it  slip  through  their  fingers,  and  the 
hot  wind,  which  rose  from  the  plains,  carried  to  them 
in  puffs  odours  of  lavender,  together  with  the  smell 
of  tar  from  a  boat  behind  the  lock.  The  sun's  rays 
glittered  on  the  cascade.  The  greenish  blocks  of 
stone  in  the  little  wall  over  whhh  the  water  slipped 


looked  as  if  they  were  covered  with  a  silver  gauze 
that  was  perpetually  unfolding  itself.  A  long  strip 
of  foam  gushed  forth  at  the  foot  with  a  harmonious 
murmur.  Then  it  bubbled  up,  forming  whirlpools  and 
a  thousand  opposing  currents,  which  ended  by  inter- 
mingling in  a  single  limpid  stream  of  water. 

Louise  said  in  a  musing  tone  that  she  envied  the 
existence  of  fishes: 

"  It  must  be  glorious  to  tumble  about  down  there 
at  your  ease,  and  to  feel  yourself  caressed  on  every 

She  shivered  with  sensuously  enticing  movements ; 
a  voice  called : 

"  Where  are  you  ?  " 

"  Your  maid  is  calling  you,"  said  Frederick. 

"  All  right !  all  right !  "  Louise  did  not  disturb 

"  She  may  be  angry,"  he  suggested. 

"  It  is  all  the  same  to  me !  and  besides "  Ma- 
demoiselle Roque  gave  him  to  understand  by  a  gesture 
that  the  girl  was  entirely  subject  to  her  will. 

She  arose,  however,  and  complained  of  a  headache. 
As  they  were  passing  in  front  of  a  large  cart-shed 
containing  some  faggots : 

"Suppose  we  sat  down  there,  under  shelter ?" 

He  pretended  not  to  understand  this  dialectic  ex- 
pression, and  even  chaffed  her  about  her  accent. 
Gradually  the  corners  of  her  mouth  were  compressed, 
she  bit  her  lips  and  stepped  aside  to  sulk. 

Frederick  came  over  to  her,  swore  he  did  not  mean 
to  annoy  her,  and  that  he  was  very  fond  of  her. 

"  Is  that  true  ?  "  she  exclaimed,  looking  at  him  with 
a  smile  which  lighted  up  her  entire  face,  smeared 
here  and  there  with  patches  of  bran. 

He  could  not  resist  the  sentiment  of  gallantry  which 


was  stirred  in  him  by  her  fresh  youthfulness,  and 
he  replied : 

"  Why  should  I  tell  you  a  lie  ?  Have  you  any 
doubt  about  it,  eh  ?  "  and,  as  he  spoke,  he  passed  his 
left  hand  round  her  waist. 

A  cry,  soft  as  the  cooing  of  a  dove,  leaped  up  from 
her  throat.  Her  head  fell  back,  she  was  going  to 
faint ;  he  held  her  up.  And  his  virtuous  scruples  were 
futile.  At  the  sight  of  this  maiden  offering  herself 
to  him  he  was  seized  with  fear.  He  assisted  her  to 
take  a  few  steps  slowly.  He  had  ceased  to  address 
her  in  soothing  words,  and  no  longer  caring  to  speak 
of  anything  save  the  most  trifling  subjects,  he  talked 
about  some  of  the  principal  figures  in  the  society  of 

Suddenly  she  repelled  him,  and  in  a  bitter  tone: 

"  You  would  not  dare  to  run  away  with  me !  " 

He  remained  motionless,  with  a  look  of  absolute 
amazement  in  his  face.  She  burst  into  sobs,  and  hid- 
ing her  face  in  his  breast: 

"  Can  I  live  without  you?" 

He  tried  to  calm  her  emotion.  She  placed  her  two 
hands  on  his  shoulders  in  order  to  get  a  better  view 
of  his  face,  and  fixing  her  green  eyes  on  his  with  an 
almost  fierce  tearfulness : 

"  Will  you  be  my  husband  ?  " 

"  But,"  Frederick  began,  casting  about  in  his  inner 
consciousness  for  a  reply — "  Of  course,  I  ask  for  noth- 
ing better." 

At  that  moment  M.  Roque's  cap  appeared  from  be- 
hind a  lilac-tree. 

He  took  his  young  friend  on  a  trip  through  the 
district  in  order  to  show  off  his  property ;  and  when 
Frederick  returned,  after  two  cHys'  absence,  he  found 
three  letters  awaiting  him  at  his  mother's  house. 


The  first  was  a  note  from  M.  Dambreuse,  inviting 
him  to  dinner  for  the  previous  Tuesday.  What  was 
the  reason  of  this  politeness?  So,  then,  they  had  for- 
given his  prank. 

The  second  was  from  Rosanette.  She  thanked  him 
for  having  risked  his  life  in  her  behalf.  Frederick 
did  not  at  first  understand  what  she  meant ;  finally, 
after  a  considerable  amount  of  circumlocution,  while 
appealing  to  his  friendship,  relying  on  his  delicacy, 
as  she  put  it,  and  going  on  her  knees  to  him  on  ac- 
count of  the  pressing  necessity  of  the  case,  as  she  was 
in  want  of  bread,  she  asked  him  for  a  loan  of  five 
hundred  francs.  He  at  once  made  up  his  mind  to  sup- 
ply her  with  the  amount. 

The  third  letter,  which  was  from  Deslauriers,  spoke 
of  the  letter  of  attorney,  and  was  long  and  obscure. 
The  advocate  had  not  yet  decided  on  any  definite  ac- 
tion. He  urged  his  friend  not  to  disturb  himself : 
'  'Tis  useless  for  you  to  come  back !  "  even  laying 
particular  stress  on  this  point. 

Frederick  got  lost  in  conjectures  of  every  sort,  and 
felt  anxious  to  return  to  Paris.  This  assumption  of 
a  right  to  control  him  excited  a  feeling  of  revolt. 

Moreover,  he  experienced  that  nostalgia  of  the 
boulevard;  and  then,  his  mother  was  pressing  him  so 
much,  M.  Roque  kept  revolving  about  him  so  con- 
stantly, and  Mademoiselle  Louise  was  so  affectionate, 
that  it  was  not  possible  for  him  to  delay  speedily 
declaring  his  intentions. 

He  wanted  to  think,  and  he  would  be  better  able 
to  exercise  a  clear  judgment  of  things  at  a  distance. 

In  order  to  assign  a  motive  for  his  journey,  Fred- 
erick invented  a  story ;  and  as  he  left  home,  he  told 
everyone,  and  believed  himself,  that  he  would  soon  be 
back  again. 



HE  felt  no  pleasure  as  he  entered  Paris  at  the 
close  of  an  August  evening.  The  boulevards 
seemed  empty.  The  passers-by  looked  at  each 
other  with  scowling  faces.  Here  and  there  a  boiler  of 
asphalt  was  smoking;  several  houses  had  their  blinds 
down.  He  made  his  way  to  his  own  residence.  The 
hangings  were  covered  with  dust;  and,  while  dining 
all  alone,  Frederick  was  seized  with  a  strange  feeling 
of  forlornness;  then  his  thoughts  reverted  to  Made- 
moiselle Roque.  The  idea  of  being  married  no  longer 
appeared  to  him  preposterous.  They  might  travel ; 
they  might  go  to  Italy,  to  the  East.  And  he  saw  her 
standing  on  a  hillock,  or  gazing  at  a  landscape,  or 
leaning  on  his  arm  in  a  Florentine  gallery  while  she 
looked  at  the  pictures.  What  a  pleasure  it  would  be 
to  him  merely  to  watch  this  little  creature  developing 
under  the  splendours  of  Art  and  Nature !  When  she 
had  got  free  from  the  commonplace  atmosphere  in 
which  she  lived,  she  would,  in  a  little  while,  become  a 
charming  companion.  M.  Roque's  wealth,  moreover, 
tempted  him.  And  yet  he  shrank  from  taking  this 
step,  regarding  it  as  a  weakness,  a  degradation. 

But  he  was  determined  (whatever  he  might  do)  on 
changing  his  mode  of  life — that  is  to  say,  to  waste 
himself  no  more  in  fruitless  passions ;  and  he  even 
hesitated  about  executing  the  commission  with  which 
he  had  been  intrusted  by  Louise.  This  was  to  buy 


for  her  at  Jacques  Arnoux's  establishment  two  large- 
sized  statues  of  many  colours  representing  negroes, 
like  those  which  were  at  the  Prefecture  at  Troves. 
She  knew  the  manufacturer's  number,  and  would  not 
have  any  other.  Frederick  feared  that,  if  he  went 
back  to  their  house,  he  might  once  again  fall  a  victim 
to  his  old  passion. 

These  reflections  occupied  his  mind  during  the  en- 
tire evening;  and  he  was  just  about  to  go  to  bed  when 
a  woman  presented  herself. 

;  'Tis  I,"  said  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz,  with  a  laugh. 
"  I  have  come  in  behalf  of  Rosanette." 

So,  then,  they  were  reconciled? 

"  Good  heavens,  yes !  I  am  not  ill-natured,  as  you 
are  well  aware.  And  besides,  the  poor  girl — it  would 
take  too  long  to  tell  you  all  about  it." 

In  short,  the  Marechale  was  anxious  to  see  him ;  she 
was  waiting  for  an  answer,  her  letter  having  travelled 
from  Paris  to  Nogent.  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz  did  not 
know  its  contents. 

Then  Frederick  asked  how  the  Marechale  was  get- 
ting on. 

She  was  now  with  a  very  rich  man,  a  Russian, 
Prince  Tzernoukoff,  who  had  seen  her  at  the  races 
in  the  Champ  de  Mars  last  summer. 

"  He  has  three  carriages,  a  saddle-horse,  livery 
servants,  a  groom  got  up  in  the  English  style,  a  coun- 
try-house, a  box  at  the  Italian  opera,,  and  a  heap  of 
other  things.  There  you  are,  my  dear  friend !  " 

And  the  Vatnaz,  as  if  she  had  profited  by  this 
change  of  fortune,  appeared  prosperous  and  happier. 
She  took  off  her  gloves  and  examined  the  furniture 
and  the  objects  of  virtu  in  the  room.  She  guessed, 
their  exact  prices  like  a  second-hand  dealer.  He 
ought  to  have  consulted  her  in  order  to  get  them 


cheaper.  Then  she  complimented  him  on  his  good 
taste : 

"  Ha !  this  is  pretty,  exceedingly  nice !  There's  no- 
body like  you  for  these  ideas." 

The  next  moment,  as  her  eyes  fell  on  a  door  close 
to  the  pillar  of  the  alcove: 

"  That's  the  way  you  let  your  friends  out,  eh?" 

And,  in  a  familiar  fashion,  she  laid  her  finger  on 
his  chin.  He  trembled  at  the  touch  of  her  long  hands, 
at  the  same  time  thin  and  soft.  Round  her  wrists  she 
wore  an  edging  of  lace,  and  on  the  body  of  her  green 
dress  lace  embroidery,  like  a  hussar.  Her  bonnet  of 
black  tulle,  with  borders  hanging  down,  concealed  her 
forehead  a  little.  Her  eyes  shone  underneath ;  an 
odour  of  patchouli  escaped  from  her  head-bands. 
The  carcel-lamp  on  the  round  table,  shining  down  on 
her  like  the  footlights  of  a  theatre,  made  her  jaw 

She  said  to  him,  in  an  unctuous  tone,  while  she  drew 
from  her  purse  three  square  slips  of  paper : 

"  You  will  take  these  from  me  ?  " 

They  were  three  tickets  for  Delmar's  benefit  per- 

"What!  for  him?" 

"  Certainly." 

Mademoiselle  Vatnaz,  without  explanation  further, 
said  that  she  adored  him  more  than  ever.  If  she  were 
to  be  believed,  the  comedian  was  now  definitely  classed 
amongst  "  the  leading  celebrities  of  the  age."  And  it 
was  not  such  or  such  a  personage  that  he  represented, 
but  the  very  genius  of  France,  the  People.  He  had 
"  the  humanitarian  spirit ;  he  understood  the  priest- 
hood of  Art."  Frederick,  in  order  to  put  an  end  to 
these  eulogies,  paid  her  for  the  three  seats. 

"  You  need  not  mention  this  over  the  way.     How 


late  it  is,  good  heavens !  I  must  leave.  Ah !  I  was 
forgetting  the  address — 'tis  the  Rue  Grange-Batelier, 
number  fourteen." 

And,  at  the  door: 

"  Good-bye,  beloved  man  !  " 

"Beloved  by  whom?"  asked  Frederick.  "What  a 
strange  woman !  " 

•  And  he  remembered  that  Dussardier  had  said  to 
him  one  day: 

"  Oh,  she's  not  much !  "  as  if  alluding  to  stories  of 
a  disparaging  character. 

Next  morning  he  repaired  to  the  Marechale's  abode. 
It  was  a  new  house,  the  spring-roller  blinds  of  which 
projected  into  the  street.  At  the  head  of  each  flight 
of  stairs  there  was  a  mirror  against  the  wall ;  before 
each  window  there  was  a  flower-stand,  and  all  over 
the  steps  extended  a  carpet  of  oilcloth ;  when  one 
got  inside  the  door,  the  coolness  of  the  staircase  was 

A  man-servant  opened  the  door,  a  footman  in  a  red 
waistcoat.  On  a  bench  in  the  anteroom  a  woman  and 
two  men,  tradespeople,  no  doubt,  were  waiting  as  if 
in  a  minister's  vestibule.  At  the  left,  the  door  of  the 
dining-room,  slightly  ajar,  afforded  a  glimpse  of 
empty  bottles  on  the  sideboards,  and  napkins  on  the 
backs  of  chairs ;  and  parallel  with  it  ran  a  corridor  in 
which  gold-coloured  sticks  supported  an  espalier  of 
roses.  In  the  courtyard  below,  two  boys  with  bare 
arms  were  scrubbing  a  landau.  Their  voices  rose  to 
Frederick's  ears,  mingled  with  the  intermittent  sounds 
made  by  a  currycomb  knocking  against  a  stone. 

The  man-servant  returned.  "  Madame  will  receive 
Monsieur,"  and  he  conducted  Frederick  through  a 
second  anteroom,  and  then  into  a  large  drawing-room 
hung  with  yellow  brocatel  with  twisted  fringes  at  the 


corners  which  were  joined  at  the  ceiling,  and  which 
seemed  to  be  continued  by  flowerings  of  lustre  re- 
sembling cables.  No  doubt  there  had  been  an  enter- 
tainment there  the  night  before.  Some  cigar-ashes 
still  remained  on  the  pier-tables. 

At  last  he  found  his  way  into  a  kind  of  boudoir 
with  stained-glass  windows,  through  which  the  sun 
shed  a  dim  light.  Trefoils  of  carved  wood  adorned 
the  upper  portions  of  the  doors. 

Rosanette  appeared,  attired  in  a  pink  satin  vest  with 
white  cashmere  trousers,  a  necklace  of  piasters,  and  a 
red  cap  encircled  with  a  branch  of  jasmine. 

Frederick  started  back  in  surprise,  then  said  he  had 
brought  the  thing  she  had  been  speaking  about,  and 
he  handed  her  the  bank-note.  She  gazed  at  him  in 
astonishment ;  and,  as  he  still  kept  the  note  in  his  hand, 
without  knowing  where  to  put  it : 

"  Pray  take  it !  " 

She  seized  it ;  then,  as  she  flung  it  on  the  divan : 

"  You  are  very  kind." 

She  wanted  it  to  meet  the  rent  of  a  piece  of  ground 
at  Bellevue,  which  she  paid  in  this  way  every  year. 
Her  unceremoniousness  wounded  Frederick's  sensi- 
bility. However,  it  was  as  well !  this  would  avenge 
him  for  the  past. 

"  Sit  down,"  said  she.  "  There — closer."  And  in 
a  grave  tone :  "  In  the  first  place,  I  have  to  thank  you, 
my  dear  friend,  for  having  risked  your  life." 

"  Oh  !  that's  nothing !  " 

"  What !  Why,  'tis  a  very  noble  act !  "—and  the 
Marechale  showed  an  embarrassing  sense  of  grati- 
tude ;  for  it  must  have  been  impressed  upon  her  mind 
that  the  duel  was  entirely  on  account  of  Arnoux,  as 
the  latter,  who  believed  this  himself,  was  not  likely 
to  have  resisted  the  temptation  of  telling  her  so. 


"  She  is  probably  laughing  at  me,"  thought  Fred- 

He  had  nothing  further  to  detain  him,  and,  plead- 
ing that  he  had  an  appointment,  he  rose. 

"  Oh  !  no,  stay  !  " 

He  resumed  his  seat  and  presently  complimented 
her  on  her  costume. 

She  replied,  with  an  air  of  dejection : 

'  The  Prince  likes  me  to  dress  in  this  fashion !  And 
one  must  smoke  such  machines  as  that,  too !  "  Ro- 
sanette  added,  pointing  toward  the  narghileh.  "  Sup- 
pose we  try  the  taste  of  it?  Have  you  any  objection?  " 

She  procured  a  light,  and  finding  it  hard  to  set  fire 
to  the  tobacco,  she  stamped  impatiently  with  her  foot. 
Then  a  feeling  of  languor  took  possession  of  her ;  and 
she  sat  motionless  on  the  divan,  wyith  a  cushion  under 
her  arm  and  her  body  twisted  a  little  on  one  side,  one 
knee  bent  and  the  other  leg  straight  out. 

The  long  serpent  of  red  morocco,  which  formed 
rings  on  the  floor,  rolled  itself  over  her  arm.  She 
put  the  amber  mouthpiece  between  her  lips,  and 
gazed  at  Frederick  while  she  blinked  her  eyes  in  the 
midst  of  the  cloud  of  smoke  that  enveloped  her.  A 
gurgling  sound  came  from  her  throat  as  she  inhaled 
the  fumes,  and  from  time  to  time  she  murmured : 

"  The  poor  darling !  the  poor  pet !  " 

Frederick  tried  to  think  of  something  agreeable  to 
talk  about.  The  thought  of  Vatnaz  recurred  to  his 

He  remarked  that  she  appeared  to  him  very  lady- 

"  Yes,  upon  my  word,"  replied  the  Marechale. 
"  She  is  very  lucky  in  having  me,  that  same  lady !  " — 
without  adding  another  word,  so  much  reserve  was 
there  in  their  conversation. 


Each  felt  a  sense  of  constraint,  something  that 
formed  a  barrier  to  confidential  relations  between 
them.  In  fact,  Rosanette's  vanity  had  been  flattered 
by  the  duel,  of  which  she  believed  herself  to  be  the 
occasion.  Then,  she  was  astonished  that  he  did  not 
hasten  to  take  advantage  of  his  achievement ;  and,  in 
order  to  compel  him  to  return  to  her,  she  had  in- 
vented this  story  that  she  wanted  five  hundred  francs. 
How  was  it  that  Frederick  did  not  expect  a  little  love 
from  her  in  return?  This  was  a  piece  of  refinement 
that  filled  her  with  amazement,  and,  with  a  gush  of 
emotion,  she  said  to  him : 

"  Will  you  come  with  us  to  the  sea-baths?" 

"What  does  'us'  mean?" 

11  Myself  and  my  bird.  I'll  pass  you  off  for  a  cousin 
of  mine,  as  in  the  old  comedies." 

"  A  thousand  thanks !  " 

"  Well,  then,  you  will  take  lodgings  near  ours." 

The  idea  of  hiding  himself  from  a  rich  man  humili- 
ated him. 

"  No !  that  is  impossible." 

"  Just  as  you  please  !  " 

Rosanette  turned  away  with  tears  in  her  eyes. 
Frederick  noticed  this,  and  in  order  to  prove  what  an 
interest  he  took  in  her,  he  said  that  he  was  delighted 
to  see  her  at  last  in  a  comfortable  position. 

She  shrugged  her  shoulders.  What,  then,  was 
troubling  her?  Was  it,  perchance,  that  she  was  not 
loved  ? 

"  Oh !  I  have  always  some  one  to  love  me ! " 

She  added : 

"  It  remains  to  be  seen  in  what  way." 

Complaining  that  she  was  "  suffocating  with  the 
heat,"  the  Marechale  unfastened  her  vest;  and,  with- 
out any  other  garment  round  her  body,  save  her  silk 


chemise,  she  leaned  her  head  on  his  shoulder  so  as 
to  arouse  his  tenderness. 

A  man  of  less  introspective  egoism  would  not  have 
given  a  thought  at  such  a  moment  to  the  possibility 
of  the  Vicomte,  M.  de  Comaing,  or  anyone  else  ap- 
pearing on  the  scene.  But  Frederick  had  too  often 
been  the  dupe  of  these  very  glances  to  subject  himself 
to  a  fresh  humiliation. 

She  wished  to  know  all  about  his  relationships  and 
his  amusements.  She  even  inquired  about  his  finan- 
cial affairs,  and  offered  to  lend  him  money  if  he  wanted 
it.  Frederick,  unable  to  stand  it  any  longer,  took  up 
his  hat. 

"I'm  off,  my  dear!  I  hope  you'll  enjoy  yourself 
thoroughly  down  there.  An  revoir!" 

She  opened  her  eyes  wide ;  then,  in  a  dry  tone : 

"An  revoir!" 

He  made  his  way  out  through  the  yellow  drawing- 
room,  and  through  the  second  anteroom.  There  was 
on  the  table,  between  a  vase  full  of  visiting-cards  and 
an  inkstand,  a  chased  silver  chest.  It  was  Madame 
Arnoux's.  Then  he  experienced  a  feeling  of  tender- 
ness, and,  at  the  same  time,  as  it  were,  the  scandal  of 
a  profanation.  He  felt  a  longing  to  raise  his  hands 
toward  it,  and  open  it.  He  was  afraid  of  being  seen, 
and  went  away. 

Frederick  was  virtuous.  He  did  not  go  back  to 
the  Arnouxs'  house.  He  sent  his  man-servant  to  buy 
the  two  negroes,  having  given  him  all  the  necessary 
directions ;  and  the  case  containing  them  started  the 
same  evening  for  Nogent.  Next  morning,  as  he  was 
repairing  to  Deslauriers'  lodgings,  at  the  turn  where 
the  Rue  Vivienne  opened  out  on  the  boulevard,  he  met 
Madame  Arnoux  face  to  face. 

The  first  movement  of  each  of  them  was  to  draw 


back ;  then  the  same  smile  came  to  the  lips  of  both, 
and  they  advanced  toward  each  other.  For  a  min- 
ute neither  uttered  a  single  word. 

The  sunlight  fell  round  her,  and  her  oval  face,  her 
long  eyelashes,  her  black  lace  shawl,  which  showed 
the  outline  of  her  shoulders,  her  gown  of  shot  silk, 
the  bunch  of  violets  at  the  corner  of  her  bonnet;  all 
seemed  to  him  to  possess  extraordinary  magnificence. 
An  infinite  softness  poured  itself  out  of  her  beautiful 
eyes ;  and  in  a  faltering  voice,  uttering  at  random  the 
first  words  that  came  to  his  lips : 

"How  is  Arnoux?" 

"  Well,  I  thank  you  !  " 

"And  the  children?" 

"  They  are  very  well !  " 

"  Ah !  ah !  What  fine  weather  we  are  having,  are 
we  not  ?  " 

"  Splendid,  indeed  !  " 

"  You  are  out  shopping?  " 

And,  with  a  slow  inclination  of  the  head : 

"  Good-bye !  " 

She  put  out  her  hand,  without  having  spoken  one 
affectionate  word,  and  did  not  even  invite  him  to  din- 
ner at  her  house.  No  matter!  He  would  not  have 
missed  this  interview  for  the  most  delightful  of  ad- 
ventures ;  and  he  pondered  over  its  sweetness  as  he 
proceeded  on  his  way. 

Deslauriers,  surprised  at  seeing  him,  dissembled  his 
spite ;  for  he  cherished  still  some  hope  with  regard  to 
Madame  Arnoux ;  and  he  had  written  to  Frederick  to 
prolong  his  stay  in  the  country,  that  he  might  be  free 
in  his  manoeuvres. 

He  informed  Frederick,  however,  that  he  had  pre- 
sented himself  at  her  house  in  order  to  ascertain  if 
their  contract  stipulated  for  a  community  of  property 


between  husband  and  wife :  in  that  case,  proceedings 
might  be  taken  against  the  wife ;  "  and  she  looked 
queer  when  I  told  her  about  your  marriage." 

"  Now,  why  such  an  invention  ?  " 

"  It  was  necessary  in  order  to  show  that  you  must 
have  your  own  capital !  A  person  who  was  indifferent 
would  not  have  been  attacked  with  the  species  of  faint- 
ing fit  that  she  had." 

"  Really  ?  "  exclaimed  Frederick. 

"  Ha !  my  fine  fellow,  you  are  betraying  yourself ! 
Come  !  be  honest !  " 

A  feeling  of  nervous  weakness  stole  over  Madame 
Arnoux's  lover. 

"  Why,  no !  I  assure  you !  upon  my  word  of  hon- 
our !  " 

These  weak  denials  ended  by  convincing  Deslauriers. 
He  congratulated  his  friend,  and  asked  him  for  de- 
tails. Frederick  gave  him  none,  and  even  resisted  a 
secret  yearning  to  concoct  a  few.  As  for  the  mort- 
gage, he  told  the  other  to  do  nothing  about  it,  but  to 
wait.  Deslauriers  thought  he  was  wrong  on  this  point, 
and  remonstrated  with  him  in  rather  a  churlish  fash- 

He  was  more  gloomy,  malignant,  and  irascible  than 
ever.  In  a  year,  if  fortune  did  not  change,  he  would 
embark  for  America  or  blow  out  his  brains.  Indeed, 
he  appeared  to  be  so  furious  against  everything,  and 
so  uncompromising  in  his  radicalism,  that  Frederick 
could  not  refrain  from  saying: 

"  Here  you  are  going  on  in  the  same  way  as  Sene- 
cal !  " 

Deslauriers,  at  this  remark,  informed  him  that  Sen- 
ecal  had  been  discharged  from  Saint-Pelagie,  the 
magisterial  investigation  having  failed  to  supply  suf- 
ficient evidence  to  justify  his  being  sent  for  trial. 


Dussardier  was  so  much  overjoyed  at  his  release 
that  he  wanted  to  invite  his  friends  to  come  and  take 
punch  with  him,  and  begged  of  Frederick  to  be  one 
of  the  party,  giving  the  latter,  at  the  same  time,  to 
understand  that  he  would  be  found  in  the  company  of 
Hussonnet,  who  had  proved  himself  a  very  good  friend 
to  Senecal. 

In  fact,  the  Flambard  had  just  become  associated 
with  a  business  establishment  whose  prospectus  con- 
tained the  following  references :  "  Vineyard  Agency. 
Office  of  Publicity.  Debt  Recovery  and  Intelligence 
Office,  etc."  But  the  Bohemian  was  afraid  that  his 
connection  with  trade  might  injure  his  literary  repu- 
tation, and  he  had  accordingly  taken  the  mathemati- 
cian to  keep  the  accounts.  Although  the  situation  was 
a  poor  one,  Senecal  would,  but  for  it,  have  died  of 
starvation.  Not  wishing  to  offend  the  worthy  shop- 
man, Frederick  accepted  his  invitation. 

Dussardier,  three  days  beforehand,  had  himself 
waxed  the  red  floor  of  his  garret,  beaten  the  arm- 
chair, and  dusted  the  chimney-piece,  on  which  might 
be  seen  under  a  globe  an  alabaster  timepiece  between 
a  stalactite  and  a  cocoanut.  As  his  two  chandeliers 
and  his  chamber  candlestick  were  not  sufficient,  he  had 
borrowed  two  more  candlesticks  from  the  doorkeeper ; 
and  these  five  lights  shone  on  the  top  of  the  chest  of 
drawers,  which  was  covered  with  three  napkins  in  or- 
der that  it  might  serve  as  a  stand  for  some  macaroons, 
biscuits,  a  fancy  cake,  and  a  dozen  bottles  of  beer. 
At  the  opposite  side,  close  to  the  wall,  which  was 
hung  with  yellow  paper,  there  was  a  little  mahogany 
bookcase  containing  the  Fables  of  Lachambeaudie,  the 
Mysteries  of  Paris,  and  Norvins'  Napoleon — and,  in 
the  middle  of  the  alcove,  the  face  of  Beranger  was 
smiling  out  of  a  rosewood  frame. 


The  guests  (in  addition  to  Deslauriers  and  Senecal) 
were  an  apothecary  who  had  just  been  admitted,  but 
who  had  not  enough  capital  to  start  in  business  for 
himself,  a  young  man  of  his  own  house,  a  town-trav- 
eller in  wines,  an  architect,  and  a  gentleman  employed 
in  an  insurance  office.  Regimbart  had  been  unable 
to  come.  Regret  was  expressed  at  his  absence. 

They  welcomed  Frederick  with  enthusiasm,  as  they 
all  knew  through  Dussardier  what  he  had  said  at  M. 
Dambreuse's  house.  Senecal  contented  himself  with 
putting  out  his  hand  in  a  dignified  manner. 

He  remained  standing  near  the  chimney-piece.  The 
others  seated,  with  their  pipes  in  their  mouths,  lis- 
tened to  him,  while  he  held  forth  on  universal  suf- 
frage, from  which  he  predicted  the  triumph  of  De- 
mocracy and  the  practical  application  of  the  principles 
of  the  Gospel.  The  hour  was  at  hand.  The  banquets 
of  the  reform  party  were  becoming  more  numerous  in 
the  provinces.  Piedmont,  Naples,  Tuscany 

'  'Tis  true,"  said  Deslauriers,  interrupting  him 
abruptly.  "  This  cannot  last  much  longer !  " 

And  he  began  to  draw  a  picture  of  the  situation. 
We  had  sacrificed  Holland  to  obtain  from  England 
the  recognition  of  Louis  Philippe ;  and  this  precious 
English  alliance  was  lost,  owing  to  the  Spanish  mar- 
riages. In  Switzerland,  M.  Guizot,  in  tow  with  the 
Austrian,  maintained  the  treaties  of  1815.  Prussia, 
with  her  Zollverein,  was  preparing  trouble  for  us. 
The  Eastern  question  was  still  pending. 

"  The  fact  that  the  Grand  Duke  Constantine  sends 
presents  to  M.  d'Aumale  is  no  reason  for  placing  con- 
fidence in  Russia.  As  for  home  affairs,  never  have 
there  been  so  many  blunders,  such  stupidity.  The 
Government  no  longer  even  keeps  up  its  majority. 
Everywhere,  indeed,  according  to  the  well-known  ex- 


pression,  it  is  naught!  naught!  naught!  And  in  the 
teeth  of  such  public  scandals,"  continued  the  advocate, 
with  his  arms  akimbo,  "  they  express  themselves  sat- 
isfied !  " 

The  allusion  to  a  notorious  vote  called  forth  ap- 
plause. Dussardier  uncorked  a  bottle  of  beer;  the 
froth  splashed  on  the  curtains.  He  did  not  mind  it. 
He  filled  the  pipes,  cut  the  cake,  passed  it  round,  and 
several  times  went  downstairs  to  see  about  the  punch ; 
and  ere  long  they  lashed  themselves  into  a  state  of 
excitement,  as  they  all  felt  equally  exasperated  against 
Power.  Their  rage  was  of  a  violent  character  for  no 
other  reason  save  that  they  hated  injustice,  and  they 
mixed  up  with  legitimate  grievances  the  most  idiotic 

The  apothecary  groaned  over  the  pitiable  condition 
of  our  fleet.  The  insurance  agent  could  not  tolerate 
Marshal  Soult's  two  sentinels.  Deslauriers  denounced 
the  Jesuits,  who  had  just  installed  themselves  publicly 
at  Lille.  Senecal  execrated  M.  Cousin  ;  for  eclecticism, 
by  teaching  that  certitude  can  be  deduced  from  reason, 
developed  selfishness  and  destroyed  solidarity.  The 
traveller  in  wines,  knowing  very  little  about  these 
matters,  remarked  loudly  that  he  had  forgotten  many 
infamies : 

"  The  royal  carriage  on  the  Northern  line  must  have 
cost  eighty  thousand  francs.  Who'll  pay  it?" 

"  Aye,  who'll  pay  it?  "  repeated  the  clerk,  as  angrily 
as  if  this  amount  had  been  drawn  out  of  his  own 

Then  followed  recriminations  against  the  lynxes  of 
the  Bourse  and  the  corruption  of  officials.  According 
to  Senecal  they  ought  to  go  higher  up,  and  hold  re- 
sponsible, first  of  all,  the  princes  who  had  revived 
the  morals  of  the  Regency  period. 


"  Have  you  not  lately  seen  the  Due  de  Montpen- 
sier's  friends  coming  back  from  Vincennes,  no  doubt 
in  a  state  of  intoxication,  and  disturbing  with  their 
songs  the  workmen  of  the  Faubourg  Saint-Antoine  ?  " 

"  There  was  even  a  cry  of  '  Down  with  the 
thieves !  '  "  said  the  apothecary.  "  I  was  there,  and  I 
joined  in  the  cry  !  " 

"  So  much  the  better !  The  people  are  at  last  wak- 
ing up." 

"  For  my  part,  that  case  caused  me  some  pain," 
said  Dussardier,  "  because  it  imputed  dishonour  to  an 
old  soldier!" 

"  Do  you  know,"  Senecal  went  on,  "  what  they  have 
discovered  at  the  Duchesse  de  Praslin's  house ?" 

Here  the  door  was  sent  flying  open  with  a  kick. 
Hussonnet  entered. 

"  Hail,  Messeigneurs,"  said  he,  as  he  seated  himself 
on  the  bed. 

No  allusion  was  made  to  his  article,  which  he  was 
sorry  for  having  written,  as  the  Marechale  had  sharply 
reprimanded  him  on  account  of  it. 

He  had  just  seen  at  the  Theatre  de  Dumas  the 
Chevalier  de  Maison-Rouge,  and  said  that  it  seemed 
to  him  a  stupid  play. 

Such  a  criticism  surprised  the  democrats,  as  this 
drama  by  its  tendency,  or  rather  by  its  scenery,  flat- 
tered their  passions.  They  protested.  Senecal,  in  or- 
der to  bring  the  discussion  to  a  close,  asked  whether 
the  play  served  the  cause  of  Democracy. 

"  Yes,  perhaps ;  but  it  is  written  in  a  style " 

"  Well,  then,  'tis  a  good  play.  What  does  style 
matter?  'Tis  the  idea!" 

And,  without  allowing  Frederick  to  say  a  word: 

"  Now,  I  was  pointing  out  that  in  the  Praslin 
case " 


Husonnet  interrupted  him  with  his  usual  brusque- 

"  Ha !  here's  another  played-out  trick !  I'm  dis- 
gusted at  it !  " 

"  And  others  as  well  as  you,"  returned  Deslauriers. 

"  It  has  only  got  five  papers  taken.  Listen,  while  I 
read  this  paragraph." 

Drawing  his  note-book  from  his  pocket,  he  read: 

'  We  have,  since  the  establishment  of  the  best  of 
republics,  been  subjected  to  twelve  hundred  and 
twenty-nine  press  prosecutions,  from  which  the  results 
to  the  writers  have  been  imprisonment  extending  over 
a  period  of  three  thousand  one  hundred  and  forty- 
one  years,  and  the  light  sum  of  seven  million  one  hun- 
dred and  ten  thousand  five  hundred  francs  by  way  of 
fine.'  That's  pleasant,  eh  ?" 

They  all  sneered  bitterly. 

Frederick,  incensed  against  the  others,  broke  in : 

"  The  Democratic  Pacifique  has  had  proceedings 
taken  against  it  on  account  of  its  feuilleton,  a  novel 
entitled  The  Woman's  Share." 

"  Come !  that's  good,"  said  Hussonnet.  "  Suppose 
they  objected  to  our  having  our  share  of  the  women !  " 

"  But  what  is  it  that's  not  prohibited  ?  "  exclaimed 
Deslauriers.  "  To  smoke  in  the  Luxembourg  is  pro- 
hibited ;  to  sing  the  Hymn  to  Pius  IX  is  prohibited !  " 

"  And  the  typographers'  banquet  has  been  inter- 
dicted," a  voice  cried,  with  a  thick  articulation. 

It  was  that  of  an  architect,  who  had  sat  concealed 
in  the  shade  of  the  alcove,  and  who  had  remained 
silent  up  to  that  moment.  He  added  that,  the  week 
before,  a  man  named  Rouget  had  been  convicted  of 
offering  insults  to  the  king. 

"  That  gurnet  *  is  fried,"  said  Hussonnet. 

*  Rouget  means  a  gurnet. — EDITOR. 


This  joke  appeared  so  out  of  place  to  Senecal  that 
he  reproached  Hussonnet  for  defending  the  Juggler  of 
the  Hotel  de  Ville,  the  friend  of  the  traitor  Dumouriez. 

"  I  ?  quite  the  contrary !  " 

Senecal  considered  Louis  Philippe  commonplace, 
one  of  the  National  Guard  types  of  men,  all  that  sa- 
voured most  of  the  provision-shop  and  the  cotton 
night-cap !  And  laying  his  hand  on  his  heart,  the  Bo- 
hemian gave  utterance  to  the  rhetorical  phrases : 

"  It  is  always  with  a  new  pleasure.  .  .  .  Polish 
nationality  will  not  perish.  .  .  .  Our  great  works  will 
be  pursued.  .  .  .  Give  me  some  money  for  my  little 
family.  .  .  ." 

They  all  laughed  loudly,  declaring  that  he  was  a 
delightful  fellow,  full  of  wit.  Their  joy  was  redoubled 
at  the  sight  of  the  bowl  of  punch  which  was  brought  in 
from  a  nearby  cafe. 

The  flames  of  the  alcohol  and  those  of  the  wax- 
candles  soon  heated  the  apartment,  and  the  light  from 
the  garret,  passing  across  the  courtyard,  illuminated 
the  side  of  an  opposite  roof,  where  the  outlines  of  the 
flue  of  a  chimney  could  be  traced  through  the  darkness 
of  night.  They  talked  in  very  loud  tones  all  at  the 
same  time.  They  had  taken  off  their  coats ;  they  gave 
blows  to  the  furniture ;  they  touched  glasses. 

Hussonnet  exclaimed: 

"  Send  up  some  great  ladies,  in  order  that  this  may 
be  more  Tour  de  Nesles,  have  more  local  colouring, 
and  be  more  Rembrandtesque,  by  Jove !  " 

And  the  apothecary,  who  kept  stirring  the  punch  in- 
definitely, began  to  sing  with  expanded  chest : 

"  I've  two  big  oxen  in  my  stable, 
Two  big  white  oxen " 

Senecal  laid  his  hand  on  the  apothecary's  mouth; 
he  did  not  like  disorderly  conduct;  and  the  lodgers 


pressed  their  faces  against  the  window-panes,  sur- 
prised at  the  unwonted  uproar  in  Dussardier's  room. 
The  honest  fellow  was  happy,  and  said  that  this  re- 
called to  his  mind  their  little  parties  on  the  Quai  Na- 
poleon in  days  gone  by;  however,  they  missed  many 
who  used  to  be  present  at  these  reunions,  "  Pellerin, 
for  instance." 

"  We  can  do  without  him,"  observed  Frederick. 

And  Deslauriers  inquired  about  Martinon. 

"  What  has  become  of  that  interesting  gentleman?  " 

Frederick  immediately  giving  vent  to  the  ill-will 
which  he  bore  to  Martinon,  attacked  his  mental  ca- 
pacity, his  character,  his  false  elegance,  his  entire  per- 
sonality. He  was  a  perfect  specimen  of  an  upstart 
peasant !  The  new  aristocracy,  the  mercantile  class, 
was  not  equal  to  the  old — the  nobility.  He  maintained 
this,  and  the  democrats  expressed  their  approval,  as 
if  he  were  a  member  of  the  one  class,  and  they  were 
on  visiting  terms  with  the  other.  They  were  charmed 
with  him.  The  apothecary  compared  him  to  M.  d'Al- 
ton  Shee,  who,  though  a  peer  of  France,  defended  the 
cause  of  the  people. 

At  last  the  time  had  come  for  taking  their  departure. 
They  all  separated  with  great  handshakings.  Dus- 
sardier,  in  a  spirit  of  affectionate  solicitude,  saw  Fred- 
erick and  Deslauriers  home.  As  soon  as  they  were  in 
the  street,  the  advocate  assumed  a  thoughtful  air,  and, 
after  a  moment's  silence : 

"  You  have  a  great  grudge,  then,  against  Pellerin  ?  " 

Frederick  did  not  hide  his  bitterness. 

The  painter,  in  the  meantime,  had  withdrawn  'the 
notorious  picture  from  the  show-window.  A  person 
should  not  let  himself  be  put  out  by  trifles.  What 
was  the  good  of  making  an  enemy? 

"  He  has  given  way  to  a  burst  of  ill-temper,  excus- 


able  in  a  man  who  hasn't  a  sou.  You,  of  course,  can't 
appreciate  that !  " 

And,  when  Deslauriers  had  gone  up  to  his  own 
apartments,  the  shopman  did  not  part  with  Frederick. 
He  urged  his  friend  to  buy  the  portrait.  In  fact,  Pel- 
lerin,  abandoning  the  hope  of  being  able  to  intimidate 
him,  had  induced  them  to  use  their  influence  to  ar- 
range the  matter  for  him. 

Deslauriers  spoke  about  it  again,  and  pressed  him 
on  the  point,  urging  that  the  artist's  claims  were  rea- 

"  I  am  sure  that  for  a  sum  of,  perhaps,  five  hun- 
dred francs — 

"Oh,  give  it  to  him!  Wait!  here  it  is!"  said 

The  picture  arrived  the  same  evening.  It  appeared 
to  him  a  still  more  atrocious  daub  than  when  he  had 
seen  it  first.  The  half-tints  and  the  shades  were  dark- 
ened under  the  excessive  retouchings,  and  they  seemed 
obscured  when  brought  into  relation  with  the  lights, 
which,  having  remained  very  brilliant  here  and  there, 
destroyed  the  harmony  of  the  picture. 

Frederick  revenged  himself  for  having  had  to  pay 
for  it  by  bitterly  disparaging  it.  Deslauriers  believed 
Frederick's  statement  on  the  point,  and  expressed  ap- 
proval of  his  conduct,  for  he  had  always  been  ambi- 
tious of  constituting  a  phalanx  of  which  he  would  be 
the  leader.  Certain  men  take  delight  in  persuading 
their  friends  to  do  things  which  are  disagreeable  to 

Meanwhile,  Frederick  did  not  renew  his  visits  to 
the  Dambreuses.  He  lacked  the  capital  for  the  invest- 
ment. He  would  have  to  enter  into  endless  explana- 
tions on  the  subject;  he  hesitated  about  coming  to  a 
decision.  Perhaps  he  was  in  the  right.  Nothing  was 


certain  now,  the  coal-mining  speculation  any  more  than 
other  things.  He  would  have  to  give  up  society  of 
that  sort.  The  end  of  the  matter  was  that  Deslau- 
riers  was  dissuaded  from  having  anything  further  to 
do  with  the  undertaking. 

From  sheer  force  of  hatred  he  had  grown  virtuous, 
and  again  he  preferred  Frederick  in  a  position  of  me- 
diocrity. In  this  way  he  remained  his  friend's  equal 
and  in  more  intimate  relationship  with  him. 

Mademoiselle  Roque's  commission  had  been  very 
badly  executed.  Her  father  wrote  to  him,  supplying 
him  with  the  most  precise  directions,  concluding  his 
letter  with  this  piece  of  foolery:  "At  the  risk  of  giv- 
ing you  nigger  on  the  brain!" 

Frederick  could  not  do  otherwise  than  call  upon  the 
Arnouxs',  once  more.  He  went  to  the  warehouse,  but 
could  find  nobody.  The  firm  being  in  a  tottering  con- 
dition, the  clerks  were  as  careless  as  their  master. 

He  brushed  against  the  shelves  laden  with  earthen- 
ware, which  filled  up  the  entire  space  in  the  centre  of 
the  establishment;  then,  when  he  reached  the  lower 
end,  facing  the  counter,  he  walked  with  a  more  noisy 
tread  in  order  to  make  himself  heard. 

The  portieres  parted,  and  Madame  Arnoux  ap- 

"  What !  you  here !  you !  " 

"  Yes,"  she  faltered,  with  some  agitation.  "  I  was 
looking  for " 

He  saw  her  handkerchief  near  the  desk,  and  con- 
cluded that  she  had  come  down  to  her  husband's  ware- 
house to  have  an  account  given  her  as  to  the  business, 
in  order  to  clear  up  some  matter  that  caused  her  anx- 

"  But  perhaps  there  is  something  you  want?"  said 


"  A  mere  nothing,  Madame." 

"  These  shop-assistants  are  intolerable !  they  are  al- 
ways out  of  the  way." 

They  should  not  be  blamed.  On  the  contrary,  he 
congratulated  himself  on  the  circumstance. 

She  looked  at  him  in  an  ironical  fashion. 

"  Well,  and  this  marriage  ?  " 

"What  marriage?" 

"  Your  own  !  " 

"  Mine?    I'll  never  marry  as  long  as  I  live!  " 

She  made  a  gesture  as  if  to  contradict  his  words. 

'  Though,  indeed,  such  things  must  be,  after  all ! 
We  take  refuge  in  the  commonplace,  despairing  of  ever 
realising  the  beautiful  existence  of  which  we  have 

"  All  your  dreams,  however,  are  not  so — candid !  " 

"  What  do  you  mean  ?  " 

"  When  you  drive  to  races  with  women !  " 

He  cursed  the  Marechale.  Then  something  re- 
curred to  his  memory. 

"  But  it  was  you  who  begged  of  me  yourself  to 
visit  her  at  one  time  in  the  interest  of  Arnoux." 

She  replied  with  a  shake  of  her  head : 

"  And  you  take  advantage  of  it  to  amuse  yourself?  " 

"  Good  God !  let  us  forget  all  these  foolish  things !  " 

'  'Tis  right,  since  you  are  about  to  be  married." 

And  she  stifled  a  sigh,  while  she  bit  her  lips. 

Then  he  exclaimed: 

"  But  I  tell  you  again  I  am  not !  Can  you  believe 
that  I,  with  my  intellectual  requirements,  my  habits, 
am  going  to  bury  myself  in  the  provinces,  playing 
cards,  looking  after  masons,  and  walking  about  in 
wooden  shoes?  What  object,  pray,  could  I  have  for 
taking  such  a  step?  You've  been  told  that  she  was 
rich,  haven't  you  ?  Ah  !  what  do  I  care  about  money  ? 


Could  I,  after  yearning  so  long  for  that  which  is  most 
lovely,  tender,. enchanting,  a  sort  of  Paradise  under  a 
human  form,  and  having  found  this  sweet  ideal  at 
last,  when  this  vision  hides  every  other  from  my 
view " 

And  taking  her  head  between  his  two  hands,  he 
kissed  her  on  the  eyelids,  repeating : 

"  No  !  no  !  no !  never  will  I  marry !  never !  never !  " 

She  submitted  to  these  caresses,  her  mingled  amaze- 
ment and  delight  having  bereft  her  of  the  power  of 

The  door  of  the  storeroom  above  the  staircase  fell 
back,  and  she  remained  with  outstretched  arms,  as  if 
to  bid  him  keep  silence.  Steps  draw  near.  Then 
some  one  said  from  behind  the  door: 

"  Is  Madame  there?" 

"  Come  in  !  " 

Madame  Arnoux  had  her  elbow  on  the  counter 
and  was  twisting  a  pen  between  her  fingers  quietly 
when  the  book-keeper  drew  aside  the  portiere. 

Frederick  started  up,  as  if  on  the  point  of  leaving. 

"  Madame,  I  have  the  honour  to  salute  you.  The  set 
will  be  ready — will  it  not?  I  may  rely  on  this?" 

She  made  no  reply.  But  by  thus  silently  becoming 
his  accomplice  in  the  deception,  she  made  his  face  flush 
with  the  crimson  glow  of  adultery. 

On  the  following  day  he  called  again.  She  re- 
ceived him ;  and,  in  order  to  follow  up  the  advantage 
he  had  gained,  Frederick,  without  any  preamble,  at- 
tempted to  offer  some  justification  for  the  accidental 
meeting  in  the  Champ  de  Mars.  It  was  the  merest 
chance  that  led  to  his  being  in  that  woman's  company. 
While  admitting  that  she  was  pretty — which  really  was 
not  the  case — how  could  she  for  even  a  moment  ab- 
sorb his  thoughts,  seeing  that  he  loved  another  woman  ? 


"  You  know  it  well — I  told  you  it  was  so !  " 

Madame  Arnoux  hung-  down  her  head. 

"  I  regret  that  you  said  such  a  thing." 


"  The  most  ordinary  proprieties  now  demand  that 
I  should  see  you  no  more !  " 

He  protested  the  innocence  of  his  love.  The  past 
ought  to  be  a  guaranty  as  to  his  future  conduct.  He 
had  of  his  own  accord  made  it  a  point  of  honour  with 
himself  not  to  disturb  her  existence,  not  to  annoy  her 
with  his  complaints. 

"  But  yesterday  my  heart  overflowed." 

"  We  ought  not  to  let  our  thoughts  dwell  on  that 
moment,  my  friend  !  " 

And  yet,  where  would  be  the  harm  in  two  unhappy 
beings  mingling  their  griefs  ? 

"  For,  indeed,  you  are  not  happy  any  more  than  I 
am !  Oh !  I  know  you.  You  have  no  one  who  re- 
sponds to  your  craving  for  affection,  for  devotion. 
I  will  do  anything  you  wish !  I  will  not  offend  you ! 
I  swear  to  you  that  I  will  not !  " 

And  he  fell  on  his  knees,  in  spite  of  himself,  giv- 
ing way  beneath  the  weight  of  the  feelings  that  op- 
pressed his  heart. 

"  Rise !  "  she  said ;  "  I  implore  you  to  do  so !  " 

And  she  declared  in  an  imperious  tone  that  if  he 
did  not  comply  with  her  wish,  she  would  never  see  him 

"  Ha !  I  defy  you  to  do  it !  "  returned  Frederick. 
"  What  is  there  for  me  in  the  world  ?  Other  men 
strive  for  riches,  celebrity,  power!  But  I  have  no 
profession ;  you  are  my  exclusive  occupation,  my  whole 
wealth,  the  object,  the  centre  of  my  existence  and  of 
my  thoughts.  I  can  no  more  live  without  you  than 
without  the  air  of  heaven !  Do  you  not  feel  the  as- 


piration  of  my  soul  ascending  toward  yours,  and  that 
they  must  intermingle,  and  that  I  am  dying  on  your 
account  ?  " 

Madame  Arnoux  trembled  in  every  limb. 

"Oh!  leave  me,  I  beg  of  you?" 

The  look  of  utter  confusion  in  her  face  made  him 
pause.  Then  he  advanced  a  step.  But  she  drew  back, 
with  her  two  hands  clasped. 

"  Leave  me  in  the  name  of  Heaven,  for  mercy's 

And   Frederick  loved  her  so  much  that  he  went. 

Soon  afterward  he  was  filled  with  rage  against  him- 
self, declared  that  he  must  be  an  idiot,  and,  after  the 
lapse  of  twenty-four  hours,  returned. 

Madame  was  gone.  He  stood  at  the  head 
of  the  stairs,  stupefied  with  anger  and  indignation. 
Arnoux  appeared,  and  informed  Frederick  that  his 
wife  had,  that  very  morning,  taken  up  her  residence  at 
a  little  country-house  of  which  he  had  become  tenant 
at  Auteuil,  as  he  had  given  up  the  house  at  Saint-Cloud. 

"  This  is  another  of  her  whims.  No  matter,  as 
she  is  settled  at  last;  and  myself,  too,  for  that  mat- 
ter, so  much  the  better.  Let  us  dine  together  this 
evening,  will  you  ?  " 

Frederick  pleaded  as  an  excuse  some  urgent  busi- 
ness ;  then  he  hurried  away  to  Auteuil. 

Madame  Arnoux  permitted  an  exclamation  of  joy 
to  escape  her  lips.  Then  all  his  bitterness  vanished. 

He  did  not  say  one  word  about  his  love.  In  order 
to  inspire  her  with  confidence  in  him,  he  even  exag- 
gerated his  reserve ;  and  on  his  asking  whether  he 
might  call  again,  she  replied :  "  Why,  of  course !  "  put- 
ting out  her  hand,  which  she  withdrew  the  next  mo- 

From  that  time  forth,  Frederick  increased  his  visits. 


He  promised  extra  fares  to  the  cabman  who  drove  him. 
But  often  he  grew  impatient  at  the  slow  pace  of  the 
horse,  and,  alighting,  he  would  make  a  dash  after  an 
omnibus,  and  climb  to  the  top  of  it  out  of  breath. 
Then  with  what  disdain  he  surveyed  the  faces  of 
those  around  him,  who  were  not  going  to  see  her! 

He  could  recognise  her  house  at  a  distance,  with 
an  enormous  honeysuckle  covering,  on  one  side,  the 
planks  of  the  roof.  It  was  a  kind  of  Swiss  chalet, 
painted  red,  with  a  balcony.  In  the  garden  there 
were  three  old  chestnut-trees,  and  on  a  rising  ground 
in  the  centre  might  be  seen  a  parasol  made  of  thatch, 
held  up  by  the  trunk  of  a  tree.  Under  the  slatework 
lining  the  walls,  a  big  vine-tree,  badly  fastened,  hung 
from  one  place  to  another  after  the  fashion  of  a  rot- 
ten cable.  The  gate-bell,  which  it  was  rather  difficult 
to  pull,  was  slow  in  ringing,  and  a  long  time  always 
elapsed  before  it  was  answered.  On  each  occasion 
he  experienced  a  pang  of  suspense,  a  fear  born  of 

Then  his  ears  would  be  greeted  with  the  pattering 
of  the  servant-maid's  slippers  over  the  gravel,  or  else 
Madame  Arnoux  herself  would  come.  One  day  he 
came  up  behind  her  just  as  she  was  stooping  down 
to  gather  violets. 

Her  daughter's  capricious  disposition  had  made  it 
necessary  to  send  the  girl  to  a  convent.  Her  little 
son  was  at  school  every  afternoon.  Arnoux  made  a 
habit  of  taking  prolonged  luncheons  at  the  Palais- 
Royal  with  Regimbart  and  their  friend  Compain. 
They  did  not  trouble  themselves  about  anything  that 
occurred,  no  matter  how  disagreeable  it  might  be. 

It  was  clearly  understood  between  Frederick  and 
her  that  they  should  not  belong  to  each  other.  By 
this  convention  they  were  preserved  from  danger,  and 


they  found  it  easier  to  unburden  their  hearts  to  each 

She  told  him  all  about  her  early  life  at  Chartres, 
which  she  spent  with  her  mother,  her  devotion  when 
she  had  reached  her  twelfth  year,  then  her  passion  for 
music,  when  she  used  to  sing  till  nightfall  in  her  little 
room,  from  which  the  ramparts  could  be  seen. 

He  related  to  her  how  melancholy  breedings  had 
haunted  him  at  college,  and  how  a  woman's  face  shone 
brightly  in  the  cloudland  of  his  imagination,  so  that, 
when  he  first  laid  eyes  upon  her,  he  felt  that  her 
features  were  familiar  to  him. 

These  conversations,  as  a  rule,  covered  only  the 
years  during  which  they  had  been  acquainted  with 
each  other.  He  recalled  to  her  insignificant  details — 
the  colour  of  her  dress  at  a  certain  period,  a  woman 
whom  they  had  met  on  a  particular  day,  what  she 
had  said  on  another  occasion ;  and  she  replied,  quite 
astonished : 

"  Yes,  I  remember !  " 

Their  tastes,  their  judgments,  were  the  same.  Often 
one  of  them,  when  listening  to  the  other,  exclaimed : 

"  That's  just  the  way  with  me." 

And  the  other  replied : 

"  And  with  me,  too !  " 

Then  there  were  endless  complaints  about  Provi- 
dence : 

"  Why  had  it  not  been  the  will  of  Heaven  ?  If  we 
had  only  met !  " 

"  Ah !  if  I  had  been  younger !  "  she  sighed. 

"  No,  but  if  I  had  been  a  little  older." 

And  they  pictured  to  themselves  a  life  entirely 
given  up  to  love,  sufficiently  rich  to  fill  up  the  vastest 
solitudes,  surpassing  all  other  joys,  defying  all  forms 
of  wretchedness,  in  which  the  hours  would  glide  away 


in  a  continual  outpouring'  of  their  own  emotions,  and 
which  would  be  as  bright  and  glorious  as  the  palpi- 
tating splendour  of  the  stars. 

They  often  stood  at  the  top  of  the  stairs  exposed 
to  the  free  air  of  heaven.  The  tops  of  trees  yellowed 
by  the  autumn  raised  their  crests  in  front  of  them 
at  unequal  heights  up  to  the  edge  of  the  pale  sky ;  or 
else  they  walked  on  to  the  end  of  the  avenue  into  a 
summer-house  whose  only  furniture  was  a  couch  of 
grey  canvas.  Black  specks  stained  the  glass ;  the  walls 
exhaled  a  mouldy  smell ;  and  they  remained  there 
chatting  freely  about  all  sorts  of  topics — anything  that 
happened  to  arise — in  a  spirit  of  hilarity.  Sometimes 
the  rays  of  the  sun,  passing  through  the  Venetian 
blind,  extended  from  the  ceiling  down  to  the  flag- 
stones like  the  strings  of  a  lyre.  Particles  of  dust 
whirled  amid  these  luminous  bars.  She  amused  her- 
self by  dividing  them  with  her  hand.  Frederick 
gently  caught  hold  of  it;  and  he  gazed  on  the  twin- 
ings  of  her  veins,  the  grain  of  her  skin,  and  the  form 
of  her  fingers.  Each  of  those  ringers  of  hers  was  for 
him  more  than  a  thing — almost  a  person. 

She  gave  him  her  gloves,  and,  the  week  after,  her 
handkerchief.  She  called  him  "  Frederick ; "  he 
called  her  "  Marie,"  adoring  the  name,  which,  he  said, 
was  expressly  made  to  be  uttered  with  a  sigh  of  ec- 
stasy, and  which  seemed  to  contain  clouds  of  incense 
and  scattered  heaps  of  roses. 

They  soon  came  to  an  understanding  as  to  the  days 
on  which  he  might  see  her;  and,  leaving  the  house 
as  if  by  mere  chance,  she  would  walk  along  the  road 
to  meet  him. 

She  made  no  effort  whatever  to  excite  his  love,  lost 
in  that  listlessness  which  is  characteristic  of  intense 
happiness.  During  the  whole  season  she  wore  a 


brown  silk  dressing-gown  with  velvet  borders  of  the 
same  colour,  a  large  garment,  which  harmonised 
with  the  indolence  of  her  attitudes  and  her  grave 
physiognomy.  Besides,  she  had  just  reached  the  au- 
tumnal period  of  womanhood,  in  which  reflection  is 
combined  with  tenderness,  in  which  the  beginning  of 
maturity  colours  the  face  with  a  more  intense  flame, 
when  strength  of  feeling  mingles  with  experience  of 
life,  and  when,  having  completely  expanded,  the  en- 
tire being  overflows  with  a  richness  in  unison  with 
its  beauty.  Never  had  she  possessed  more  sweetness, 
more  leniency.  Secure  in  the  thought  that  she  would 
not  err,  she  abandoned  herself  to  a  sentiment  which 
seemed  to  her  justified  by  her  sorrows.  And,  more- 
over, it  was  so  innocent  and  fresh !  What  an  abyss 
lay  between  the  coarseness  of  Arnoux  and  the  adora- 
tion of  Frederick! 

He  trembled  at  the  thought  that  by  an  imprudent 
word  he  might  lose  all  that  he  had  gained,  saying  to 
himself  that  an  opportunity  might  come  again,  but  a 
foolish  step  could  never  be  repaired.  He  wished  that 
she  should  give  herself  rather  than  that  he  should 
take  her.  The  assurance  of  being  loved  by  her  de- 
lighted him  like  a  foretaste  of  possession,  and  then  the 
charm  of  her  person  stirred  his  heart  more  than  his 
senses.  It  was  an  indefinable  feeling  of  bliss,  a  sort 
of  intoxication  that  made  him  lose  sight  of  the  pos- 
sibility of  having  his  happiness  completed.  When 
away  from  her,  he  was  consumed  with  longing. 

Soon  the  conversations  were  interrupted  by  long 
spells  of  silence.  Sometimes  a  sort  of  sexual  shame 
made  them  blush  in  each  other's  presence.  All  the 
precautions  they  took  to  hide  their  love  only  served 
to  unveil  it ;  the  stronger  it  grew,  the  more  constrained 
they  became.  The  effect  of  this  dissimulation  was  to 


intensify  their  sensibility.  They  experienced  a  sensa- 
tion of  delight  at  the  odour  of  moist  leaves;  they 
could  not  endure  the  east  wind ;  they  got  irritated 
without  apparent  cause,  and  had  melancholy  fore- 
bodings. The  sound  of  a  footstep,  the  creaking  of 
the  wainscoting,  filled  them  with  as  much  terror  as 
if  they  had  been  guilty.  They  felt  as  if  they  were 
being  pushed  toward  the  edge  of  a  chasm.  They  were 
surrounded  by  a  tempestuous  atmosphere ;  and  when 
complaints  escaped  Frederick's  lips,  she  accused  her- 

"  Yes,  I  am  doing  wrong.  I  am  acting  as  if  I  were 
a  coquette !  Don't  come  any  more !  " 

Then  he  would  repeat  the  same  oaths,  to  which 
on  each  occasion  she  listened  with  renewed  pleasure. 

His  return  to  Paris,  and  the  fuss  occasioned  by 
New  Year's  Day,  interrupted  their  meetings  for  a 
time.  When  he  returned,  he  had  an  air  of  greater 
self-confidence.  Every  moment  she  went  out  to  give 
orders,  and  in  spite  of  his  entreaties  she  received  all 
visitors  that  called  during  the  evening. 

After  this,  they  conversed  about  Leotade,  M.  Gui- 
zot,  the  Pope,  the  insurrection  at  Palermo,  and  the 
banquet  of  the  Twelfth  Arrondissement,  which  had 
caused  some  disquietude.  Frederick  eased  his  mind 
by  railing  against  Power,  for  he  longed,  like  Des- 
lauriers,  to  turn  the  whole  world  upside  down,  so 
soured  had  he  now  become.  Madame  Arnoux,  on  her 
side,  had  become  sad. 

Her  husband,  indulging  in  displays  of  wild  folly, 
was  flirting  with  one  of  the  girls  in  his  pottery  works, 
the  one  who  was  known  as  "  the  girl  from  Bordeaux." 
Madame  Arnoux  was  informed  of  it  by  Frederick. 
He  wanted  to  make  use  of  it  as  an  argument,  "  inas- 
much as  she  was  the  victim  of  deception." 


"  Oh !  I'm  not  much  troubled  about  it,"  she  said. 

This  admission  on  her  part  seemed  to  him  to 
strengthen  the  intimacy  between  them.  Would  Ar- 
noux  be  suspicious  with  regard  to  them  ? 

"  No  !  not  now  !  " 

It  seemed  that,  one  evening,  he  had  left  them  talk- 
ing together,  and  had  afterward  come  back  and  lis- 
tened behind  the  door,  and  as  they  both  were  chat- 
ting at  the  time  of  matters  that  were  of  no  conse- 
quence, he  had  lived  since  in  a  state  of  complete  se- 

"With  good  reason,  too — is  that  not  so?"  said 
Frederick  bitterly. 

"  Yes,  no  doubt !  " 

It  would  have  been  better  for  him  not  to  have  given 
so  risky  an  answer. 

One  day  she  was  out  at  the  hour  when  he  usually 
called.  To  him  there  seemed  to  be  a  sort  of  treason 
in  this. 

He  was  next  displeased  at  seeing  the  flowers  which 
he  used  to  bring  her  always  placed  in  a  glass  of  fresh 

"Where,  then,  would  you  have  me  put  them?" 

"  Oh !  not  there !  However,  they  are  not  so  cold 
there  as  they  would  be  near  your  heart ! " 

Not  long  afterward  he  reproached  her  for  having 
been  at  the  Italian  opera  the  night  before  without  tell- 
ing him  previously  of  her  intention  to  go  there.  Oth- 
ers had  seen,  admired,  fallen  in  love  with  her,  perhaps ; 
Frederick  was  fastening  on  those  suspicions  of  his 
merely  in  order  to  pick  a  quarrel  with  her,  to  tor- 
ment her ;  for  he  was  beginning  to  hate  her,  and  the 
very  least  he  might  expect  was  that  she  should  share 
in  his  sufferings ! 

One  afternoon,  toward  the  middle  of  February,  he 


found  her  in  a  state  of  great  mental  excitement.  Eu- 
gene had  been  complaining  about  his  sore  throat. 
The  doctor  had  told  her  that  it  was  a  trifling  ailment — 
a  bad  cold,  an  attack  of  influenza.  Frederick  was  as- 
tonished at  the  child's  stupefied  look.  Nevertheless, 
he  reassured  the  mother,  and  brought  forward  the 
cases  of  several  children  of  the  same  age  who  had 
been  attacked  with  similar  ailments,  and  had  been 
speedily  cured. 


"  Why,  yes,  assuredly !  " 

"  Oh  !  how  good  you  are !  " 

And  she  caught  his  hand.  He  clasped  hers  tightly 
in  his. 

"Oh!  let  it  go!" 

"  What  does  it  matter,  when  it  is  to  one  who  sym- 
pathises with  you  that  you  offer  it?  You  place  every 
confidence  in  me  when  I  speak  of  these  things,  but 
you  distrust  me  when  I  talk  about  my  love !  " 

"  I  don't  doubt  you  on  that  point,  my  poor  friend !  " 

"  Why  this  distrust,  as  if  I  were  a  wretch  capable 
of  abusing " 

"Oh!  no! " 

"If  I  had  only  a  proof! " 

"What  proof?" 

"  The  proof  that  might  be  given  to  the  first  comer 
— what  you  have  granted  to  myself !  " 

And  he  recalled  to  her  how,  on  one  occasion,  they 
had  gone  out  together,  on  a  winter's  twilight,  when 
there  was  a  fog.  This  seemed  now  a  long  time  ago. 
What,  then,  was  to  prevent  her  from  showing  her- 
self on  his  arm  before  the  whole  world  without  any 
fear  on  her  part,  and  without  any  mental  reservation 
on  his,  not  having  anyone  around  them  who  could 
importune  them? 


"  Be  it  so !  "  she  said,  with  a  promptness  of  deci- 
sion that  at  first  astonished  Frederick. 

But  he  replied,  in  a  lively  fashion: 

"  Would  you  like  me  to  wait  at  the  corner  of  the 
Rue  Tronchet  and  the  Rue  de  la  Ferme?" 

"  Good  heavens,  my  friend !  "  faltered  Madame  Ar  • 

Without  giving  her  time  to  think,  he  added: 

"  Next  Tuesday,  I  suppose  ?  " 


"  Yes,  between  two  and  three  o'clock." 

"  I  will  be  there !  " 

And  she  turned  aside  her  face  with  a  movement  of 
shame.  Frederick  placed  his  lips  on  the  nape  of  her 

"  Oh !  this  is  not  right,"  she  said.  "  You  will  make 
me  repent." 

He  turned  away,  dreading  the  fickleness  which  is 
usual  with  women.  Then,  on  the  threshold,  he  mur- 
mured softly,  as  if  it  were  a  thing  that  was  thoroughly 
understood : 

"  On  Tuesday !  " 

She  lowered  her  beautiful  eyes  in  a  cautious  and 
resigned  fashion. 

Frederick  had  a  plan  in  his  mind. 

He  hoped  that,  owing  to  the  rain  or  the  sun,  he 
might  get  her  to  stop  under  some  doorway,  and  that, 
once  there,  she  would  enter  some  house.  The  diffi- 
culty was  to  find  one  that  would  suit. 

He  made  a  search,  and  about  the  middle  of  the  Rue 
Tronchet  he  read,  on  a  signboard,  "  Furnished  apart- 

The  waiter,  divining  his  object,  showed  him  im- 
mediately above  the  ground-floor  a  room  and  a  closet 
with  two  exits.  Frederick  took  it  for  a  month,  and 


paid  in  advance.  Then  he  went  into  three  shops  to 
buy  the  rarest  perfumery.  He  got  a  piece  of  imita- 
tion guipure,  to  replace  the  horrible  red  cotton  cov- 
erlet ;  he  selected  a  pair  of  blue  satin  slippers,  and  only 
the  fear  of  appearing  coarse  checked  the  amount  of 
his  purchases.  He  came  back  with  them ;  and  with 
more  devotion  than  those  show  who  erect  processional 
altars,  he  altered  the  position  of  the  furniture,  ar- 
ranged the  curtains  himself,  put  heather  in  the  fire- 
place, and  covered  the  chest  of  drawers  with  vio- 
lets. He  would  have  liked  to  pave  the  entire  apart- 
ment with  gold.  "  To-morrow  is  the  time,"  said  he  to 
himself.  "Yes,  to-morrow!  I  am  not  dreaming!" 
and  his  heart  throbbed  violently  under  the  delirious 
excitement  begotten  by  his  anticipations.  Then, 
when  everything  was  ready,  he  carried  off  the  key  in 
his  pocket,  as  if  the  happiness  which  slept  there  might 
have  flown  away  along  with  it. 

A  letter  from  his  mother  was  awaiting  him : 

"  Why  such  a  long  absence  ?  Your  conduct  is  be- 
ginning to  look  ridiculous.  I  understand  your  hesi- 
tating more  or  less  with  regard  to  this  union.  How- 
ever, think  well  upon  it." 

And  she  placed  the  matter  before  him  with  the  ut- 
most clearness :  an  income  of  forty-five  thousand 
francs.  However,  "  people  were  talking  about  it ; " 
and  M.  Roque  was  expecting  a  definite  answer.  As 
for  the  young  girl,  her  position  was  truly  most  embar- 

"  She  is  deeply  attached  to  you." 

Frederick  threw  aside  the  letter  even  before  he  had 
finished  reading  it,  and  opened  an  epistle  from  Des- 

"  DEAR  OLD  BOY — The  pear  is  ripe.  In  accordance 
with  your  promise,  we  may  count  on  you.  We  meet 


to-morrow  at  daybreak  in  the  Place  du  Pantheon. 
Drop  into  the  Cafe  Soufflot.  It  is  necessary  for  me 
to  talk  with  you  before  the  manifestation  takes  place." 

"  Oh !  I  know  them,  with  their  manifestations !  A 
thousand  thanks!  I  have  a  more  agreeable  appoint- 

And  on  the  following  morning,  at  eleven  o'clock, 
Frederick  left  the  house.  He  wanted  to  give  one 
last  glance  at  the  preparations.  Then,- who  could  tell 
but  that,  by  some  chance  or  other,  she  might  be  at 
the  place  of  meeting  before  him?  As  he  emerged 
from  the  Rue  Tronchet,  he  heard  a  great  clamour  be- 
hind the  Madeleine.  He  pressed  forward,  and  saw  at 
the  far  end  of  the  square,  to  the  left,  a  number  of 
men  in  blouses  and  well-dressed  people. 

A  manifesto  published  in  the  newspapers  had  sum- 
moned to  this  spot  all  who  had  subscribed  to  the  ban- 
quet of  the  Reform  Party.  The  Ministry  had,  almost 
without  a  moment's  delay,  posted  up  a  proclamation 
prohibiting  the  meeting.  The  Parliamentary  Opposi- 
tion had,  on  the  previous  evening,  disclaimed  any  con- 
nection with  it ;  but  the  patriots,  who  were  unaware 
of  this  resolution  on  the  part  of  their  leaders,  had 
come  to  the  meeting-place,  followed  by  a  great  crowd 
of  spectators.  A  deputation  from  the  schools  had 
made  its  way,  a  little  earlier,  to  the  house  of  Odillon 
Barrot.  It  was  now  at  the  residence  of  the  Minister 
for  Foreign  Affairs ;  and  nobody  could  tell  whether 
the  banquet  would  take  place,  whether  the  Government 
would  carry  out  its  threat,  and  whether  the  National 
Guards  would  make  their  appearance.  People  were  as 
furious  against  the  deputies  as  against  Power.  The 
crowd  was  growing  bigger  and  bigger,  when  sud- 
denly the  strains  of  the  Marseillaise  rang  through 
the  air. 


It  was  the  students'  column  which  had  just  arrived 
on  the  scene.  They  marched  at  an  ordinary  walking 
pace,  in  double  file  and  in  good  order,  with  angry 
faces,  bare  hands,  and  all  shouting  at  intervals : 

"  Long  live  Reform  !     Down  with  Guizot !  " 

Frederick's  friends  were  there,  sure  enough.  They 
would  have  seen  him  and  dragged  him  along  with 
them.  He  quickly  sought  refuge  in  the  Rue  de  1'Ar- 

When  the  students  had  taken  two  turns  round  the 
Madeleine,  they  went  in  the  direction  of  the  Place  de 
la  Concorde.  It  was  full  of  people ;  and,  at  a  distance, 
the  crowd  pressed  close  together,  had  the  appearance 
of  a  field  of  dark  ears  of  corn  swaying  to  and  fro. 

At  the  same  moment,  some  soldiers  of  the  line 
ranged  themselves  in  battle-array  at  the  left-hand  side 
of  the  church. 

The  groups  remained  standing  there,  however.  In 
order  to  scatter  them,  some  police-officers  in  civilian 
dress  seized  the  most  riotous  in  a  brutal  fashion,  and 
carried  them  off  to  the  guard-house.  Frederick,  in 
spite  of  his  indignation,  remained  silent ;  he  feared 
being  arrested  along  with  the  others,  and  thus  miss- 
ing Madame  Arnoux. 

A  little  while  afterward  the  helmets  of  the  Mu- 
nicipal Guards  appeared.  They  kept  striking  about 
them  with  the  flat  side  of  their  sabres.  A  horse  fell. 
The  people  made  a  rush  forward  to  save  him,  and  as 
soon  as  the  rider  was  in  the  saddle,  they  all  ran  away. 

Then  there  was  a  great  silence.  The  thin  rain, 
which  had  moistened  the  asphalt,  was  no  longer  fall- 
ing. Clouds  floated  past,  gently  swept  on  by  the  wind. 

Frederick  began  running  through  the  Rue  Tronchet. 
looking  before  and  behind  him* 

At  length  it  struck  two  o'clock. 


"  Ha !  now  is  the  time !  "  said  he  to  himself.  "  She 
is  leaving-  her  house;  she  is  approaching,"  and  a 
minute  after,  "  she  has  had  plenty  of  time  to  be 

Up  to  three  he  tried  to  keep  quiet.  "  No,  she  is 
not  going  to  be  late — a  little  patience !  " 

And  for  want  of  something  to  do  he  examined  the 
.most  interesting  shops  that  he  passed — a  bookseller's, 
a  saddler's  and  a  mourning  ware-house.  Soon  he 
knew  the  names  of  the  different  books,  the  various 
kinds  of  harness,  and  every  sort  of  material.  The 
persons  who  were  in  attendance  in  these  establish- 
ments, from  seeing  him  continually  going  to  and  fro, 
were  at  first  surprised,  and  then  alarmed,  and  finally 
they  closed  up  their  shop-fronts. 

No  doubt  she  had  met  with  some  obstacle,  and 
must  be  enduring  pain  at  the  delay.  But  what  de- 
light would  be  afforded  in  a  very  short  time !  For 
she  would  come — that  was  certain.  "  She  has  given 
me  her  promise !  "  In  the  meantime  an  intolerable 
feeling  of  anxiety  was  gradually  seizing  hold  of  him. 
Impelled  by  an  absurd  idea,  he  returned  to  his  hotel, 
as  if  he  expected  to  find  her  there.  At  the  same  mo- 
ment, she  might  have  reached  the  street  in  which 
their  meeting  was  to  take  place.  He  rushed  out. 
There  was  no  one.  And  he  resumed  his  tramp  up  and 
down  the  footpath. 

He  stared  at  the  gaps  in  the  pavement,  the  mouths 
of  the  gutters,  the  candelabra,  and  the  numbers  above 
the  doors.  The  most  trifling  objects  became  for  him 
companions,  or  rather,  ironical  spectators,  and  the 
uniform  fronts  of  the  houses  seemed  to  him  to  have  a 
pitiless  aspect.  He  was  suffering  from  cold  feet.  He 
felt  as  if  he  were  about  to  succumb  to  the  dejection 
which  was  crushing:  him.  The  reverberation  of  his 


footsteps  vibrated  through  his  brain  as  he  tramped  to 
and  fro. 

When  he  saw  by  his  watch  that  it  was  four  o'clock, 
he  experienced,  as  it  were,  a  sense  of  vertigo,  a  feel- 
ing of  despair.  He  tried  to  repeat  some  verses  to  him- 
self, to  make  a  calculation,  no  matter  of  what  sort, 
to  invent  some  kind  of  story.  Impossible !  He  was 
beset  by  the  image  of  Madame  Arnoux ;  he  felt  a 
longing  to  run  in  order  to  meet  her.  But  what  road 
ought  he  to  take  so  that  they  might  not  pass  each 

He  went  up  to  a  messenger,  put  five  francs  into  his 
hand,  and  told  him  to  go  to  the  Rue  de  Paradis  to 
Jacques  Arnoux's  residence  and  inquire  "  if  Madame 
were  at  home."  Then  he  took  up  his  post  at  the  cor- 
ner of  the  Rue  de  la  Ferme  and  of  the  Rue  Tronchet, 
so  as  to  be  able  to  look  down  both  of  them  at  the  same 
time.  On  the  boulevard,  in  the  background  of  the 
scene  before  him,  confused  masses  of  people  were 
gliding  past.  He  could  distinguish,  every  now  and 
then,  the  aigrette  of  a  dragoon  or  a  woman's  hat ;  and 
he  strained  his  eyes  in  an  effort  to  recognise  the 
wearer.  A  child  in  rags,  exhibiting  a  jack-in-the-box, 
asked  him,  with  a  smile,  for  alms. 

The  man  with  the  velvet  vest  reappeared.  "  The 
porter  had  not  seen  her  going  out."  What  had  kept 
her  in?  If  she  were  ill  he  would  have  been  told  about 
it.  Was  it  a  visitor?  Nothing  was  easier  than  to 
say  that  she  was  not  at  home.  He  struck  his  forehead. 

"  Ah !  I  am  stupid !  Of  course,  this  political  out- 
break prevented  her  from  coming !  " 

He  was  relieved  by  this  apparently  natural  explan- 
ation. Then,  suddenly :  "  But  her  quarter  of  the  city 
is  quiet."  And  a  horrible  doubt  seized  hold  of  his 
mind:  "  Suppose  she  never  intended  coming  at  all,  and 


merely  gave  me  a  promise  in  order  to  get  rid  of  me? 
No,  no !  "  What  had  prevented  her  from  coming  was, 
no  doubt,  some  extraordinary  mischance,  one  of  those 
occurrences  that  baffled  all  one's  anticipations.  In 
that  case  she  would  have  written  to  him. 

He  sent  the  hotel  errand-boy  to  his  residence  in  the 
Rue  Rum  fort  to  find  out  whether  there  was  a  letter 
waiting  for  him  there. 

No  letter  had  been  brought.  This  absence  of  news 
reassured  him. 

He  drew  omens  from  the  number  of  coins  which  he 
took  out  of  his  pocket  by  chance,  from  the  physiog- 
nomies of  the  passers-by,  and  from  the  colour  of  dif- 
ferent horses ;  and  when  the  augury  was  unfavourable, 
he  forced  himself  to  disbelieve  it.  In  his  sudden  out- 
bursts of  rage  against  Madame  Arnoux,  he  abused  her 
in  muttering  tones.  Then  came  fits  of  weakness  that 
nearly  made  him  swoon,  followed,  all  of  a  sudden,  by 
fresh  rebounds  of  hopefulness.  She  would  appear 
presently  !  She  was  there,  behind  his  back !  He  turned 
round — there  was  nobody  there !  Once  he  saw,  about 
thirty  paces  away,  a  woman  of  the  same  height,  with 
a  dress  of  the  same  kind.  He  came  up  to  her — it 
was  not  she.  It  struck  five — half-past  five — six.  The 
gas-lamps  were  lighted.  Madame  Arnoux  had  not 

The  night  before,  she  had  dreamed  that  she  had 
been,  for  some  time,  on  the  footpath  in  the  Rue 
Tronchet.  She  was  waiting  for  something  the  nature 
of  which  she  was  not  quite  clear  about,  but  which, 
nevertheless,  was  of  great  importance ;  and,  without 
knowing  why,  she  was  afraid  of  being  seen.  But  a 
pestiferous  little  dog  kept  barking  at  her  furiously 
and  biting  at  the  hem  of  her  dress.  Every  time  she 
shook  him  off  he  returned  stubbornly  to  the  attack, 


always  barking  more  violently  than  before.  Madame 
Arnoux  woke  up.  The  dog's  barking  continued.  She 
strained  her  ears  to  listen.  It  came  from  her  son's 
room.  She  rushed  to  the  spot  in  her  bare  feet.  It  was 
the  child  himself  who  was  coughing.  His  hands  were 
burning,  his  face  flushed,  and  his  voice  singularly 
hoarse.  Every  minute  he  found  it  more  difficult  to 
breathe.  She  remained  there  till  daybreak,  bent  over 
the  coverlet  watching  him. 

At  eight  o'clock  the  drum  of  the  National  Guard 
reminded  M.  Arnoux  that  his  comrades  were  expect- 
ing his  arrival.  He  dressed  himself  quickly  and 
went  out,  promising  that  he  would  immediately  send 
their  doctor,  M.  Colot,  whose  house  he  would  be 

At  ten  o'clock,  when  M.  Colot  did  not  make  his 
appearance,  Madame  Arnoux  despatched  her  chamber- 
maid for  him.  The  doctor  was  away  in  the  country; 
and  the  young  man  who  was  taking  his  place  had  gone 
out  on  some  business. 

Eugene  kept  his  head  on  one  side  on  the  bolster 
with  contracted  eyebrows  and  dilated  nostrils.  His 
pale  little  face  was  whiter  than  the  sheets;  and  there 
escaped  from  his  larynx  a  wheezing  caused  by  his 
oppressed  breathing,  which  gradually  grew  shorter, 
dryer,  and  more  metallic.  His  cough  resembled  the 
noise  made  by  those  barbarous  mechanical  inventions 
known  as  barking  toy-dogs. 

Madame  Arnoux  was  seized  with  terror.  She  rang 
the  bell  violently,  calling  out  for  help,  and  exclaiming : 

"  A  doctor !  a  doctor !  " 

Ten  minutes  later  came  an  elderly  gentleman  in  a 
white  tie,  and  with  grey  whiskers  well  trimmed.  He 
put  several  questions  as  to  the  habits,  the  age,  and  the 
constitution  of  the  young  patient,  and  studied  the  case 


with  his  head  thrown  back.  Then  he  wrote  out  a 

The  calm  manner  of  this  old  man  was  intolerable. 
He  smelt  of  aromatics.  She  would  have  liked  to  beat 
him.  He  said  he  would  return  in  the  evening. 

The  horrible  coughing  soon  began  again.  Some- 
times the  child  sat  up  suddenly.  Convulsive  move- 
ments shook  the  muscles  of  his  breast;  and  in  his  ef- 
forts to  breathe  his  stomach  shrank  in  as  if  he  were 
suffocating  after  running  too  hard.  Then  he  sank 
down,  with  his  head  thrown  back  and  his  mouth  wide 
open.  With  infinite  pains,  Madame  Arnoux  tried  to 
make  him  swallow  the  contents  of  the  phials,  hippo 
wine,  and  a  potion  containing  trisulphate  of  antimony. 
But  he  pushed  away  the  spoon,  groaning  in  a  feeble 
panting  voice.  He  seemed  to  be  blowing  out  his 

At  intervals  she  re-read  the  prescription.  The  ob- 
servations of  the  formulary  frightened  her.  Perhaps 
the  apothecary  had  made  some  mistake.  Her  power- 
lessness  filled  her  with  despair.  M.  Colot's  pupil  ar- 

He  was  a  young  man  of  modest  demeanour,  new  to 
medical  work,  and  he  made  no  attempt  to  disguise  his 
opinion  about  the  case.  He  was  at  first  undecided  as 
to  what  should  be  done,  for  fear  of  compromising 
himself,  and  finally  he  ordered  pieces  of  ice  to  be  ap- 
plied to  the  sick  child.  It  took  a  long  time  to  get  ice. 
The  bladder  containing  it  burst.  It  was  necessary  to 
change  the  little  boy's  shirt.  This  disturbance  brought 
on  an  attack  of  even  a  more  dreadful  character  than 
any  of  the  previous  ones. 

The  child  began  tearing  off  the  linen  round  his 
neck,  as  if  he  were  trying  to  remove  the  obstacle  that 
was  choking  him;  and  he  scratched  the  walls  and 


seized  the  curtains  of  his  bedstead,  trying  to  get  a 
point  of  support  to  assist  him  in  breathing. 

His  face  was  now  of  a  bluish  hue,  and  his  entire 
body,  bathed  in  a  cold  perspiration,  appeared  to  be 
growing  lean.  His  haggard  eyes  were  fixed  with  ter- 
ror on  his  mother.  He  threw  his  arms  round  her 
neck,  and  hung  there  desperately ;  and  repressing  her 
rising  sobs,  she  gave  utterance  in  a  broken  voice  to 
loving  words : 

"  Yes,  my  pet,  my  angel,  my  treasure !  " 

Then  came  intervals  of  calm. 

She  went  to  look  for  playthings — a  punchinello,  a 
collection  of  images,  and  spread  them  out  on  the  bed 
in  an  effort  to  amuse  him.  She  even  attempted  to 

She  began  a  little  ballad  which  she  used  to  sing 
years  before,  when  she  was  nursing  him,  wrapped  up 
in  swaddling-clothes  in  this  same  little  upholstered 
chair.  But  a  shiver  ran  all  over  his  frame,  just  as 
when  a  wave  is  agitated  by  the  wind.  The  balls  of 
his  eyes  protruded.  She  thought  he  was  about  to 
die,  and  turned  away  her  eyes  to  avoid  seeing  him. 

The  next  moment  she  felt  strength  enough  in  her  to 
look  at  him.  He  was  still  living.  The  hours  suc- 
ceeded each  other — dull,  mournful,  interminable,  hope- 
less, and  she  no  longer  counted  the  minutes,  save  by 
the  progress  of  this  mental  anguish.  The  shakings  of 
his  chest  threw  him  forward  as  if  to  shatter  his  body. 
Finally,  he  vomited  something  strange,  which  was 
like  a  parchment  tube.  What  could  it  be?  She  fan- 
cied that  he  had  evacuated  one  end  of  his  entrails. 
But  he  now  began  to  breathe  freely  and  regularly. 
This  improved  appearance  alarmed  her  more  than 
anything  else  that  had  happened.  She  was  sitting  like 
one  petrified,  her  arms  hanging  by  her  sides,  her  eyes 


fixed,  when  M.  Colot  suddenly  entered.  The  child,  in 
his  opinion,  was  saved. 

She  did  not  realise  what  he  meant  at  first,  and  made 
him  repeat  the  words.  Was  not  this  one  of  those 
consoling  phrases  which  were  customary  with  medi- 
cal men?  The  doctor  departed  with  an  air  of  tran- 
quillity. Then  it  seemed  as  if  the  cords  that  pressed 
round  her  heart  were  loosened. 

"  Saved!     Is  it  possible?" 

Suddenly  the  thought  of  Frederick  presented  itself 
to  her  mind  in  a  clear  and  inexorable  fashion.  This 
was  a  warning  sent  to  her  by  Providence.  But  the 
Lord  in  His  mercy  had  not  completed  her  chastise- 
ment. What  expiation  could  she  offer  at  another  time 
if  she  were  to  persevere  in  this  love-affair?  No  doubt 
insults  would  be  cast  at  her  son  on  her  account;  and 
Madame  Arnoux  saw  him  a  young  man,  wounded  in  a 
combat,  carried  off  on  a  litter,  dying.  At  one  spring 
she  threw  herself  on  the  little  chair,  and,  letting  her 
soul  escape  toward  the  heights  of  heaven,  she  vowed 
to  God  that  she  would  sacrifice,  as  a  holocaust,  her 
first  real  passion,  her  only  weakness  as  a  woman. 

Frederick  had  returned  home.  He  remained  in  his 
armchair,  without  energy  enough  to  curse  her.  A  sort 
of  slumber  fell  upon  him,  and,  in  the  midst  of  his 
nightmare,  he  could  hear  the  rain  falling,  still  under 
the  impression  that  he  was  there  outside  on  the  foot- 

Next  morning,  unable  to  resist  the  temptation  which 
assailed  him,  he  again  sent  a  messenger  to  Madame 
Arnoux's  house. 

Whether  the  true  explanation  happened  to  be  that 
the  fellow  did  not  deliver  his  message  or  that  she  had 
too  many  things  to  say  to  explain  herself  in  a  word 
or  two,  the  same  answer  was  brought  back.  This  in- 


science  was  too  great !  A  feeling  of  angry  pride  took 
possession  of  him.  He  swore  to  himself  that  he  would 
never  again  cherish  even  a  desire ;  and,  like  a  group 
of  leaves  swept  away  by  a  hurricane,  his  love  disap- 
peared. He  experienced  a  sense  of  relief,  a  feeling  of 
stoical  joy,  then  a  need  of  violent  action ;  and  he 
walked  at  random  through  the  streets. 

Men  from  the  faubourgs  were  marching  past  armed 
with  guns  and  old  swords,  some  of  them  wearing  red 
caps,  and  all  singing  the  Marseillaise  or  the  Girondins. 
Here  and  there  a  National  Guard  was  hurrying  to 
join  his  mayoral  department.  Drums  could  be  heard 
rolling  in  the  distance.  A  conflict  was  going  on  at 
Porte  Saint-Martin.  There  was  something  lively  and 
warlike  in  the  air.  Frederick  kept  continuously  walk- 
ing on.  The  excitement  of  the  great  city  made  him 


On  the  Frascati  hill  he  got  a  glimpse  of  the  Mare- 
chale's  windows :  a  wild  idea  occurred  to  him,  a  re- 
action of  youthfulness.  He  crossed  the  boulevard. 

The  yard-gate  was  just  being  closed ;  and  Delphine, 
who  was  in  the  act  of  writing  on  it  with  a  piece  of 
charcoal,  "  Arms  given,"  said  to  Frederick  in  an  eager 
tone : 

"  Ah  !  Madame  is  in  a  nice  state  !  She  discharged 
a  groom  who  insulted  her  this  morning.  She  thinks 
there's  going  to  be  pillage  everywhere.  She  is  fright- 
ened to  death !  and  the  more  so  as  Monsieur  has 
gone !  " 

"What  Monsieur?" 

"  The  Prince !  " 

Frederick  entered  the  boudoir.  The  Marechale  was 
there,  in  her  petticoat,  her  hair  hanging  down  her  back 
in  disorder. 

"  Ah !  thanks !    You  are  going  to  save  me !  'tis  the 


second  time !  You  are  one  of  those  who  never  count 
the  cost !  " 

"  A  thousand  pardons !  "  said  Frederick,  catching 
her  round  the  waist  with  both  hands. 

"How  now?  What  are  you  doing?"  stammered 
the  Marechale,  at  the  same  time  surprised  and  cheered 
by  his  manner. 

He  replied: 

"  I  am  in  the  fashion !    I'm  reformed !  " 

She  let  herself  fall  back  on  the  divan,  and  continued 
laughing  under  his  kisses. 

They  spent  the  afternoon  looking  out  of  the  window 
at  the  people  in  the  street.  Then  he  took  her  to  dine 
at  the  Trois  Freres  Provengaux.  The  meal  was  a 
long  and  dainty  one.  They  returned  on  foot  for  want 
of  a  vehicle. 

At  the  announcement  of  a  new  Ministry,  Paris  had 
changed.  Everyone  was  in  a  state  of  delight.  People 
promenaded  about  the  streets,  and  every  floor  was 
illuminated  with  lamps,  so  that  it  seemed  as  if  it  were 
broad  daylight.  The  soldiers  returned  to  their  bar- 
racks, worn  out  and  looking  quite  depressed.  The 
people  saluted  them  with  exclamations  of  "  Long  live 
the  Line !  " 

They  continued  on  their  way  without  making  any 
response.  Among  the  National  Guard,  on  the  con- 
trary, the  officers,  flushed  with  enthusiasm,  brandished 
their  sabres,  vociferating: 

"  Long  live  Reform !  " 

And  every  time  the  two  lovers  heard  this  word 
they  laughed. 

Frederick  told  droll  stories,  and  was  quite  gay. 

Passing  through  the  Rue  Duphot,  they  reached  the 
boulevards.  Venetian  lanterns  hanging  from  the 
houses  formed  wreaths  of  flame.  Underneath,  a  con- 


fused  swarm  of  people  kept  in  constant  motion.  In  the 
midst  of  those  moving  shadows  could  be  seen,  here 
and  there,  the  steely  glitter  of  bayonets.  There  was  a 
great  uproar.  The  crowd  was  so  compact  that  it  was 
impossible  to  make  one's  way  back  in  a  straight  line. 
They  were  entering  the  Rue  Caumartin,  when  sud- 
denly behind  them  burst  forth  a  noise  like  the  crack- 
ling of  an  immense  piece  of  silk  being  torn  across.  It 
was  the  discharge  of  musketry  on  the  Boulevard  des 

"  Ha !  a  few  of  the  citizens  are  getting  a  crack," 
said  Frederick  calmly ;  for  there  are  situations  in  which 
a  man  of  the  least  cruel  disposition  is  so  much  de- 
tached from  his  fellow-men  that  he  would  see  the 
entire  human  race  exterminated  without  a  single  throb 
of  the  heart. 

The  Marechale  was  clinging  to  his  arm  with  her 
teeth  chattering.  She  declared  that  she  could  not  walk 
twenty  steps  farther.  Then,  by  a  refinement  of  hatred, 
in  order  the  better  to  offer  an  outrage  in  his  own  soul 
to  Madame  Arnoux,  he  took  Rosanette  to  the  hotel  in 
the  Rue  Tronchet,  and  brought  her  up  to  the  room 
which  he  had  got  ready  for  the  other. 

The  flowers  were  still  fresh.  The  guipure  was 
spread  out  on  the  bed.  He  drew  out  from  the  cup- 
board the  little  slippers.  Rosanette  considered  this 
forethought  on  his  part  a  great  proof  of  his  delicacy 
of  sentiment.  About  one  o'clock  she  was  awakened 
by  distant  rolling  sounds,  and  she  found  that  he  was 
sobbing  bitterly  with  his  head  buried  in  the  pillow. 

"  What  is  troubling  you,  darling  ?  " 

"  'Tis  the  extreme  joy,"  said  Frederick.  "  I  have 
been  too  long  waiting  for  you !  " 





A   DISCHARGE  of  musketry  aroused  Frederick 
from  sleep;  and,  in   spite  of  Rosanette's  en- 
treaties, he  determined  to  go  and  see  what  was 
happening.     He  hurried  down  to  the  Champs-Elysees, 
where  shots  were  being  fired.     At  the  corner  of  the 
Rue  Saint-Honore  some  men  in  blouses  ran  past  him, 
exclaiming : 

"  No !  not  that  way !  to  the  Palais-Royal !  " 
Frederick  followed  them.  The  grating  of  the  Con- 
vent of  the  Assumption  had  been  torn  away.  A  little 
farther  on  there  were  three  paving-stones  in  the  mid- 
dle of  the  street,  the  beginning  of  a  barricade,  no 
doubt;  then  fragments  of  bottles  and  bundles  of  iron- 
wire,  to  obstruct  the  cavalry;  and  there  rushed  sud- 
denly out  of  a  lane  a  tall  young  man  of  pale  com- 
plexion, with  his  black  hair  flowing  over  his  shoulders, 
and  with  an  odd  sort  of  pea-coloured  swaddling-cloth 
thrown  round  him.  In  his  hand  he  held  a  long  mili- 
tary musket,  and  he  dashed  along  on  the  tips  of  his 
slippers  with  the  air  of  a  somnambulist  and  the  nimble- 
ness  of  a  tiger.  At  intervals  a  detonation  could  be 
On  the  evening  of  the  day  before,  the  sight  of  a  wag- 


gon  containing  five  corpses  picked  up  from  amongst 
those  that  were  lying  on  the  Boulevard  des  Capucines 
had  changed  the  disposition  of  the  people ;  and,  while 
at  the  Tuileries  the  aides-de-camp  succeeded  each 
other,  and  M.  Mole,  having  set  about  the  composition 
of  a  new  Cabinet,  did  not  come  back,  and  M.  Thiers 
was  making  efforts  to  constitute  another,  and  while 
the  King  was  cavilling  and  hesitating,  and  finally  as- 
signed the  post  of  commander-in-chief  to  Bugeaud  in 
order  to  prevent  him  from  making  use  of  it,  the  in- 
surrection was  organising  itself  in  a  formidable  man- 
ner, as  if  it  were  directed  by  a  single  arm. 

Men  inspired  with  a  kind  of  frantic  eloquence  were 
engaged  in  haranguing  the  populace  at  the  street- 
corners,  others  were  in  the  churches  ringing  the  toc- 
sin as  loudly  as  ever  they  could.  Lead  was  cast  for 
bullets,  cartridges  were  rolled  about.  The  trees  on 
the  boulevards,  the  urinals,  the  benches,  the  gratings, 
the  gas-burners,  everything  was  torn  off  and  thrown 
about.  Paris,  that  morning,  was  covered  with  barri- 
cades. The  resistance  which  was  offered  was  of  short 
duration,  so  that  at  eight  o'clock  the  people,  by  volun- 
tary surrender  or  by  force,  had  got  possession  of  five 
barracks,  nearly  all  the  municipal  buildings,  the  most 
favourable  strategic  points.  Of  its  own  accord,  with- 
out any  effort,  the  monarchy  was  rapidly  dissolving, 
and  now  an  attack  was  made  on  the  guard-house  of 
the  Chateau  d'Eau,  in  order  to  liberate  fifty  prisoners, 
who  were  not  there. 

Frederick  was  forced  to  stop  at  the  entrance  to  the 
square.  It  was  filled  with  groups  of  armed  men.  The 
Rue  Saint-Thomas  and  the  Rue  Fromanteau  were  oc- 
cupied by  companies  of  the  Line.  The  Rue  de  Valois 
Was  choked  up  by  an  enormous  barricade.  The  smoke 
which  fluttered  about  at  the  top  of  it  partly  opened. 


Men  kept  running  overhead,  making  violent  gestures ; 
they  vanished  from  sight;  then  the  firing  was  again 
renewed.  It  was  answered  from  the  guard-house 
without  anyone  being  visible.  Its  windows,  protected 
by  oaken  window-shutters,  were  pierced  with  loop- 
holes ;  and  the  monument  with  its  two  stories,  its  two 
wings,  its  fountain  on  the  first  floor  and  its  little  door 
in  the  centre,  was  beginning  to  be  speckled  with  white 
spots  under  the  shock  of  the  bullets.  The  three  steps 
in  front  of  it  remained  unoccupied. 

At  his  side  a  man  in  a  Greek  cap,  with  a  cartridge- 
box  over  his  knitted  vest,  was  disputing  with  a  woman 
with  a  Madras  neckerchief  round  her  shoulders.  She 
said  to  him : 

"  Come  back  now !     Come  back !  " 

"  Leave  me  alone !  "  replied  the  husband.  "  You 
can  easily  mind  the  porter's  lodge  by  yourself.  I  ask, 
citizen,  is  this  fair?  I  have  on  every  occasion  done 
my  duty — in  1830,  in  '32,  in  '34,  and  in  '39!  Now 
they're  fighting  again.  I  must  fight !  Go  away !  " 

And  the  porter's  wife  ended  by  yielding  to  his  re- 
monstrances and  to  those  of  a  National  Guard  near 
them — a  man  of  forty,  whose  simple  face  was  adorned 
with  a  circle  of  white  beard.  He  loaded  his  gun  and 
fired  while  talking  to  Frederick,  as  calm  in  the  midst 
of  the  outbreak  as  a  horticulturist  in  his  garden.  A 
young  lad  with  a  packing-cloth  thrown  over  him  was 
trying  to  coax  this  man  to  give  him  a  few  caps,  so  that 
he  might  make  use  of  a  gun  he  had,  a  fine  fowling- 
piece  which  a  "  gentleman  "  had  made  him  a  present 

"  Catch  on  behind  my  back,"  said  the  good  man, 
"  and  keep  yourself  from  being  seen,  or  you'll  get  your- 
self killed !  " 

The  drums  sounded  for  the  charge.     Sharp  cries, 


hurrahs  of  triumph  burst  forth.  A  continual  ebbing 
to  and  fro  made  the  multitude  sway  backward  and 
forward.  Frederick,  caught  between  two  thick  masses 
of  people,  did  not  move  an  inch,  all  the  time  fasci- 
nated and  entertained  by  the  scene  around  him.  The 
wounded  who  sank  to  the  ground,  the  dead  lying  at 
his  feet,  did  not  seem  like  persons  really  wounded  or 
really  dead.  The  impression  left  on  him  was  that  he 
was  looking  on  at  a  show. 

In  the  midst  of  the  surging  throng,  above  the  sea 
of  heads,  could  be  seen  an  old  man  in  a  black  coat, 
mounted  on  a  white  horse  with  a  velvet  saddle.  He 
held  in  one  hand  a  green  bough,  in  the  other  a  pa- 
per, and  he  kept  shaking  them  continuously ;  but  at 
length,  abandoning  all  hope  of  obtaining  a  hearing, 
he  withdrew  from  the  scene. 

The  soldiers  of  the  Line  had  gone,  and  only  the 
municipal  troops  were  left  to  defend  the  guard-house. 
A  wave  of  dauntless  spirits  dashed  up  the  steps;  they 
were  flung  down ;  others  came  on  to  replace  them, 
and  the  gate  resounded  under  blows  from  iron  bars. 
The  municipal  guards  did  not  give  way.  A  waggon, 
stuffed  full  of  hay,  and  burning  like  a  gigantic  torch, 
was  dragged  against  the  walls.  Faggots  were  speedily 
brought,  then  straw,  and  a  barrel  of  spirits  of  wine. 
The  fire  mounted  up  to  the  stones  along  the  wall ;  the 
building  began  to  send  forth  smoke  on  all  sides  like 
the  crater  of  a  volcano ;  and  at  its  summit,  between 
the  balustrades  of  the  terrace,  huge  flames  escaped 
with  a  harsh  noise.  The  first  story  of  the  Palais- 
Royal  was  occupied  by  National  Guards.  Shots  were 
fired  through  every  window  in  the  square ;  the  bul- 
lets whizzed,  the  water  of  the  fountain,  which  had 
burst,  mingled  with  the  blood,  forming  little  pools  on 
the  ground.  People  slipped  in  the  mud  over  clothes, 


shakos,  and  weapons.  Frederick  felt  something  soft 
under  his  foot.  It  was  the  hand  of  a  sergeant  in  a 
grey  great-coat,  stretched  on  his  face  in  the  stream 
that  ran  along  the  street.  Fresh  bands  of  people  con- 
tinually came  up,  pushing  on  the  combatants  at  the 
guard-house.  The  firing  became  quicker.  The  wine- 
shops were  open ;  people  went  into  them  from  time  to 
time  to  smoke  a  pipe  and  drink  a  glass  of  beer,  and 
then  came  back  again  to  fight.  A  lost  dog  began  to 
howl.  This  made  the  people  laugh. 

Frederick  was  shaken  by  the  impact  of  a  man  fall- 
ing on  his  shoulder  with  a  bullet  through  his  back ;  he 
could  hear  the  death-rattle  in  his  throat.  At  this  shot, 
perhaps  directed  against  himself,  he  felt  stirred  up  to 
rage ;  and  he  was  plunging  forward  when  a  National 
Guard  stopped  him. 

"  Tis  useless !  the  King  has  just  gone !  If  you 
don't  believe  me,  go  and  see  for  yourself !  " 

This  assurance  calmed  Frederick.  The  Place  du 
Carrousel  had  a  tranquil  aspect.  The  Hotel  de  Nantes 
stood  there  as  firm  as  ever;  and  the  houses  in  the 
rear;  the  dome  of  the  Louvre  in  front,  the  long  gal- 
lery of  wood  at  the  right,  and  the  waste  plot  of  ground 
that  ran  unevenly  as  far  as  the  sheds  of  the  stall- 
keepers  were,  so  to  speak,  steeped  in  the  grey  hues  of 
the  atmosphere,  where  indistinct  murmurs  seemed  to 
mingle  with  the  fog;  while,  at  the  other  side  of  the 
square,  a  stiff  light,  falling  through  the  parting  of 
the  clouds  on  the  faqade  of  the  Tuileries,  outlined  all 
its  windows  in  white  patches.  Near  the  Arc  de  Tri- 
omphe  a  dead  horse  lay  on  the  ground.  Behind  the 
gratings  groups  consisting  of  five  or  six  persons  were 
chatting.  The  doors  leading  into  the  chateau  were 
open,  and  the  servants  at  the  entrances  allowed  the 
people  to  enter. 


Below  stairs,  in  a  kind  of  little  parlour,  bowls  of 
cafe  an  lait  were  passed  round.  A  few  sat  down  to 
the  table  and  made  merry;  others  remained  standing, 
and  amongst  the  latter  was  a  hackney-coachman.  He 
snatched  up  with  both  hands  a  glass  vessel  full  of 
powdered  sugar,  cast  a  restless  glance  right  and  left, 
and  then  began  to  eat  voraciously,  with  his  nose  stuck 
into  the  mouth  of  the  vessel. 

At  the  foot  of  the  great  staircase  a  man  was  writ- 
ing his  name  in  a  register. 

Frederick  recognised  him  by  his  back. 

"  Hallo,  Hussonnet !  " 

"  Yes,  'tis  I,"  replied  the  Bohemian.  "  I  am  in- 
troducing myself  at  court.  This  is  a  nice  joke,  isn't 

"  Suppose  we  go  upstairs  ?  " 

And  they  reached  presently  the  Salle  des  Mare- 
chaux.  The  portraits  of  those  illustrious  generals, 
save  that  of  Bugeaud,  which  had  been  pierced  through 
the  stomach,  were  all  intact.  They  were  represented 
leaning  on  their  sabres  with  a  gun-carriage  behind 
each  of  them,  and  in  formidable  attitudes  in  contrast 
with  the  occasion.  A  large  timepiece  indicated  that  it 
was  twenty  minutes  past  one. 

Suddenly  the  Marseillaise  resounded.  Hussonnet 
and  Frederick  looked  over  the  balusters.  It  was  the 
people.  They  rushed  up  the  stairs,  shaking  with  a 
dizzying,  wave-like  motion  bare  heads,  or  helmets,  or 
red  caps,  or  else  bayonets  or  human  shoulders  with 
such  impetuosity  that  somebody  disappeared  even- 
now  and  then  in  the  swarming  mass,  which  was  mount- 
ing up  without  a  moment's  pause,  like  a  river  com- 
pressed by  an  equinoctial  tide,  with  a  continuous  roar 
under  an  irresistible  impulse.  When  they  reached  the 
top  of  the  stairs,  they  were  scattered,  and  their  chant 


died  away.  Nothing  could  any  longer  be  heard  but 
the  tramp  of  feet  intermingled  with  the  chopping 
sound  of  many  voices.  The  crowd  not  being  in  a  mis- 
chievous mood,  contented  themselves  with  looking 
about  them.  But,  from  time  to  time,  an  elbow,  press- 
ing too  hard,  broke  through  a  pane  of  glass,  or  else 
a  vase  or  a  statue  fell  from  a  bracket  down  on  the 
floor.  The  wainscotings  cracked  under  the  pressure 
of  people  against  them.  Every  face  was  flushed ;  the 
perspiration  was  rolling  down  their  features  in  large 
beads.  Hussonnet  remarked : 

"  Heroes  have  not  a  good  smell." 

"  Ah !  you  are  provoking,"  returned  Frederick. 

And,  pushed  forward  in  spite  of  themselves,  they 
entered  an  apartment  in  which  a  dais  of  red  velvet 
rose  as  far  as  the  ceiling.  On  the  throne  below  sat 
a  representative  of  the  proletariat  in  effigy  with  a 
black  beard,  his  shirt  gaping  open,  a  jolly  air,  and  the 
stupid  look  of  a  baboon.  Some  climbed  up  the  plat- 
form to  sit  in  his  place. 

"  What  a  myth !  "  said  Hussonnet.  "  There  you 
see  the  sovereign  people !  " 

The  armchair  was  raised  up  on  the  hands  of  a  num- 
ber of  persons  and  passed  across  the  hall,  swaying 
from  side  to  side. 

"  By  Jove,  'tis  like  a  boat !  The  Ship  of  State  is 
tossing  about  in  a  stormy  sea!  Let  it  dance  the  can- 
can !  Let  it  dance  the  cancan  !  " 

They  had  drawn  it  toward  a  window,  and  in  the 
midst  of  hisses,  they  launched  it  out. 

"  Poor  old  chap !  "  said  Hussonnet,  as  he  saw  the 
effigy  falling  into  the  garden,  where  it  was  speedily 
picked  up,  in  order  to  be  afterward  carried  to  the  Bas- 
tile  to  be  burned. 

Then  a  mad  joy  burst  forth,  as  if,  in  place  of  the 


throne,  a  future  of  boundless  happiness  had  arrived ; 
and  the  people,  less  through  a  spirit  of  vindictiveness 
than  to  enjoy  their  right  of  possession,  broke  or  tore 
the  glasses,  the  curtains,  the  lustres,  the  tapers,  the 
tables,  the  chairs,  the  stools,  the  entire  furniture,  in- 
cluding the  very  albums  and  engravings,  and  the  cor- 
bels of  the  tapestry.  Since  they  were  the  victors, 
they  must  needs  amuse  themselves !  The  common 
herd  ironically  wrapped  themselves  up  in  laces  and 
cashmeres.  Gold  fringes  were  rolled  round  the  sleeves 
of  blouses.  Hats  with  ostriches'  feathers '  adorned 
blacksmiths'  heads,  and  ribbons  of  the  Legion  of 
Honour  supplied  waistbands  for  prostitutes.  Each 
person  satisfied  his  or  her  caprice ;  some  danced,  oth- 
ers drank.  In  the  queen's  apartment  a  woman  glossed 
her  hair  with  pomatum.  Behind  a  folding-screen  two 
lovers  played  cards.  Hussonnet  drew  Frederick's  at- 
tention to  an  individual  who  was  smoking  a  dirty  pipe 
with  his  elbows  resting  on  a  balcony ;  and  the  popu- 
lar frenzy  redoubled  with  the  continuous  crash  of 
broken  porcelain  and  pieces  of  crystal,  which,  as  they 
rebounded,  made  sounds  resembling  those  produced 
by  the  plates  of  musical  glasses. 

Then  their  fury  was  overshadowed.  A  vulgar 
curiosity  made  them  rummage  all  the  dressing-rooms, 
all  the  recesses.  Liberated  convicts  thrust  their  arms 
into  the  beds  of  princesses,  and  rolled  themselves  on 
the  top  of  them,  to  console  themselves  for  not  being 
able  to  embrace  their  owners.  Others,  with  sinister 
faces,  wandered  about  silently,  looking  for  something 
to  steal,  but  too  great  a  multitude  was  there.  Through 
the  bays  of  the  doors  could  be  seen  in  the  suite  of 
apartments  only  the  dark  mass  of  people  between  the 
gilding  of  the  walls  under  a  cloud  of  dust.  Every 
breast  was  beating-.  The  heat  became  more  and  more 


suffocating;  and  the  two  friends,  afraid  of  being  sti- 
fled, seized  the  opportunity  of  escaping,  making  their 
way  out. 

In  the  antechamber,  standing  on  a  heap  of  gar- 
ments, appeared  a  girl  of  the  town  as  a  statue  of 
Liberty,  motionless,  her  grey  eyes  wide  open — a  fear- 
ful sight. 

They  had  taken  about  three  steps  outside  the  cha- 
teau when  a  company  of  the  National  Guards,  in 
great-coats,  advanced  toward  them,  and,  removing 
their  foraging-caps  from  their  slightly  bald  heads, 
they  bowed  very  low  to  the  people.  At  this  testi- 
mony of  respect,  the  ragged  victors  bridled  up.  Hus- 
sonnet  and  Frederick  experienced  a  certain  pleasure 
from  it  as  well  as  the  rest. 

They  were  filled  with  ardour.  They  went  back  to 
the  Palais-Royal.  In  front  of  the  Rue  Fromanteau, 
soldiers'  corpses  were  heaped  up  on  the  straw.  They 
passed  close  to  the  dead  without  a  single  quiver  of 
emotion,  feeling  a  certain  pride  in  being  able  to  con- 
trol themselves. 

The  Palais  overflowed  with  people.  In  the  inner 
courtyard  seven  piles  of  wood  were  burning.  Pianos, 
chests  of  drawers,  and  clocks  were  hurled  out  through 
the  windows.  Fire-engines  sent  streams  of  water  up 
to  the  roofs.  Some  vagabonds  tried  to  cut  the  hose 
with  their  sabres.  Frederick  urged  a  pupil  of  the  Poly- 
technic School  to  interfere.  The  latter  did  not  under- 
stand him,  and,  moreover,  appeared  to  be  idiotic.  All 
around,  in  the  two  galleries,  the  populace,  having  got 
possession  of  the  cellars,  gave  themselves  up  to  a  hor- 
rible carouse.  Wine  flowed  in  streams  around  peo- 
ple's feet;  the  mudlarks  drank  out  of  the  tail-ends  of 
the  bottles,  and  shouted  songs  and  oaths  as  they  stag- 
gered along. 


"  Come  out  of  this,"  said  Hussonnet ;  "  I  am  dis- 
gusted with  the  people." 

All  over  the  Orleans  Gallery  the  wounded  lay  on 
mattresses  on  the  ground,  with  purple  curtains  over 
them  as  coverlets;  and  the  small  shopkeepers'  wives 
and  daughters  from  the  quarter  brought  them  broth 
and  linen. 

"  No  matter !  "  said  Frederick ;  "  after  all,  the  peo- 
ple are  sublime." 

The  great  vestibule  was  filled  with  a  whirlwind  of 
furious  individuals.  Men  tried  to  ascend  to  the  up- 
per stories  in  order  to  continue  the  work  of  whole- 
sale destruction.  National  Guards,  on  the  steps,  strove 
to  keep  them  back.  The  most  intrepid  was  a  chas- 
seur, who  stood  with  bare  head,  his  hair  bristling, 
and  his  straps  in  pieces.  His  shirt  caused  a  swelling 
between  his  trousers  and  his  coat,  and  he  struggled 
desperately  in  the  midst  of  the  others.  Hussonnet, 
who  had  a  sharp  sight,  recognised  Arnoux. 

Then  they  went  into  the  Tuileries  garden,  so  as  to 
be  able  to  breathe  more  freely.  They  sat  down  on  a 
bench  and  remained  for  some  minutes  with  their  eyes 
closed,  so  stunned  that  they  had  not  the  energy  to 
say  a  word.  The  people  who  were  passing  stopped 
to  inform  them  that  the  Duchesse  d'Orleans  had  been 
appointed  Regent,  and  that  it  was  all  over.  They  were 
feeling  that  species  of  comfort  which  follows  rapid 
denouements,  when  at  the  windows  of  the  attics  in 
the  chateau  appeared  men-servants  tearing  their  liv- 
eries to  pieces.  They  flung  their  torn  clothes  into 
the  garden,  as  a  token  of  renunciation.  The  people 
hooted  at  them,  and  then  they  retired. 

The  attention  of  Frederick  and  Hussonnet  was  dis- 
tracted by  a  tall  fellow  who  was  walking  quickly  be- 
tween the  trees  with  a  musket  on  his  shoulder.  A 


cartridge-box  was  pressed  against  his  pea-jacket;  a 
handkerchief  was  wound  round  his  forehead  under 
his  cap.  He  turned  his  head  to  one  side.  It  was 
Dussardier  ;  and  casting  himself  into  their  arms : 

"  Ah !  what  good  fortune,  my  dear  old  friends !  " 
without  being  able  to  say  another  word,  so  breathless 
was  he  from  fatigue. 

He  had  been  on  his  feet  for  the  last  twenty-four 
hours.  He  had  been  engaged  at  the  barricades  of 
the  Latin  Quarter,  had  fought  in  the  Rue  Rabuteau, 
had  saved  three  dragoons'  lives,  had  entered  the  Tuil- 
eries  with  Colonel  Dunoyer,  and,  after  that,  had  re- 
paired to  the  Chamber,  and  then  had  gone  to  the  Hotel 
de  Ville. 

"  I  have  come  right  from  it !  all  goes  well !  the 
people  are  victorious !  the  workmen  and  the  employ- 
ers are  embracing  one  another !  Ha !  if  you  knew 
what  I  have  seen !  what  brave  fellows !  what  a  fine 
sight  it  was !  " 

And  without  noticing  that  they  had  no  arms : 

"  I  was  quite  certain  of  finding  you  there !  This 
has  been  a  bit  rough — no  matter !  " 

A  drop  of  blood  ran  down  his  cheek,  and  in  answer 
to  the  questions  put  to  him  by  the  two  others: 

"  Oh !  'tis  nothing !  a  slight  scratch  from  a  bayo- 
net !  " 

"  Still,  you  ought  to  take  care  of  yourself." 

"Pooh!  I  am  substantial!  What  does  this  matter? 
The  Republic  is  proclaimed!  We'll  be  happy  hence- 
forth !  Some  journalists,  who  were  talking  near  me 
just  now,  said  they  were  going  to  liberate  Poland  and 
Italy!  No  more  kings!  You  understand?  The  en- 
tire land  free !  the  entire  land  free !  " 

And  with  one  comprehensive  glance  at  the  horizon, 
he  spread  out  his  arms  triumphantly.  Just  then  a 


long    file    of    men    rushed    over    the    terrace    on    the 
water's  edge. 

•  "  Ah,  deuce  take  it !     I  was  forgetting.     I  must  be 
off.     Good-bye !  " 

He  went  off  shouting  with  them,  while  brandishing 
his  musket : 

"  Long  live  the  Republic !  " 

From  the  chimneys  of  the  chateau  escaped  enor- 
mous whirlwinds  of  black  smoke  which  bore  sparks 
along  with  them.  The  ringing  of  the  bells  sent  out 
over  the  city  a  wild  and  startling  alarm.  Right  and 
left,  in  every  direction,  the  conquerors  discharged 
their  weapons. 

Frederick,  though  he  was  not  a  warrior,  felt  the 
Gallic  blood  bounding  in  his  veins.  The  magnetism 
of  the  public  enthusiasm  had  seized  hold  of  him.  He 
inhaled  with  a  voluptuous  delight  the  stormy  atmos- 
phere filled  with  the  odour  of  gunpowder ;  and  he  quiv- 
ered under  the  effluvium  of  an  immense  love,  a  su- 
preme and  universal  tenderness,  as  if  the  heart  of  all 
humanity  were  throbbing  in  his  breast. 

Hussonnet  said,  with  a  yawn : 

"  It  might  be  time,  perhaps,  to  go  and  instruct  the 

Frederick  accompanied  him  to  his  correspondence- 
ofifice  in  the  Place  de  la  Bourse ;  and  he  began  to  com- 
pose for  the  Troves  newspaper  an  account  of  recent 
events  in  a  lyric  style — a  veritable  tit-bit — to  which  he 
attached  his  signature.  Then  they  dined  together  at 
a  tavern.  Hussonnet  was  pensive ;  the  eccentricities 
of  the  Revolution  surpassed  his  own. 

After  leaving  the  cafe,  they  repaired  to  the  Hotel 
de  Ville  to  learn  the  news,  and  the  boyish  impulses 
which  were  natural  to  him  had  got  the  upper  hand 
once  more.  He  scaled  the  barricades  like  a  chamois, 


and  answered  the  sentinels  with  broad  jokes  of  a  patri- 
otic flavour. 

They  heard  the  Provisional  Government  proclaimed 
by  torchlight.  At  last,  Frederick  got  back  to  his  house 
at  midnight,  overcome  with  fatigue. 

"Well,"  said  he  to 'his  man-servant,  while  the  lat- 
ter was  undressing  him,  "are  you  satisfied?" 

"  Yes,  no  doubt,  Monsieur ;  but  I  don't  like  to  see 
the  people  dancing  to  music." 

Xext  morning,  when  he  awoke,  Frederick  thought 
of  Deslauriers.  lie  hastened  to  his  friend's  lodgings. 
He  ascertained  that  the  advocate  had  just  left  Paris, 
having  been  appointed  a  provincial  commissioner.  At 
the  soiree  given  the  night  before,  he  had  come  into 
contact  with  Ledru-Rollin,  and  laying  siege  to  him  in 
the  name  of  the  Law  Schools,  had  snatched  from  him 
a  post,  a  mission.  However,  the  doorkeeper  explained, 
he  had  promised  to  write  giving  his  address  the  fol- 
lowing week. 

After  this,  Frederick  went  to  see  the  Marechale. 
She  received  him.  She  resented  his  desertion  of  her. 
Her  bitterness  disappeared  when  he  repeatedly  as- 
sured her  that  peace  was  restored. 

All  was  quiet  now.  There  was  no  reason  to  be 
alarmed.  He  kissed  her,  and  she  declared  herself  in 
favour  of  the  Republic,  as  his  lordship  the  Archbishop 
of  Paris  had  already  done,  and  as  the  magistracy,  the 
Council  of  State,  the  Institute,  the  marshals  of  France, 
Changarnier,  M.  de  Falloux,  all  the  Bonapartists,  all 
the  Legitimists,  and  a  considerable  number  of  Orlean- 
ists  were  about  to  do  with  a  swiftness  indicative  of 
marvellous  zeal. 

The  overthrow  of  the  monarchy  had  been  so  rapid 
that,  as  soon  as  the  first  stupefaction  that  succeeded  it 
had  passed  away,  there  was  amongst  the  middle,  class 


a  feeling  of  astonishment  at  the  fact  that  they  were 
still  alive.  The  summary  execution  of  some  thieves, 
who  were  shot  without  a  trial,  was  regarded  as  an 
act  of  signal  justice.  For  a  month  Lamartine's  phrase 
was  repeated  with  reference  to  the  red  flag,  "  which 
had  only  gone  the  round  of  the  "Champ  de  Mars,  while 
the  tricoloured  flag,"  etc. ;  and  all  placed  themselves 
under  its  shade,  each  party  seeing  amongst  the  three 
colours  only  its  own,  and  firmly  determined,  as  soon 
as  it  gained  the  most  power,  to  tear  away  the  two 

As  business  was  suspended,  anxiety  and  love  of 
gaping  drove  everyone  into  the  open  air.  The  care- 
less style  of  costume  generally  adopted  lessened  dif- 
ferences of  social  position.  Hatred  disguised  itself; 
expectations  were  openly  indulged  in ;  the  multitude 
seemed  full  of  good-nature.  The  pride  of  having 
maintained  their  rights  shone  in  the  people's  faces. 
They  displayed  the  gaiety  of  a  carnival,  the  man- 
ners of  a  bivouac.  Nothing  could  be  more  amusing 
than  the  aspect  of  Paris  during  the  first  days  that  fol- 
lowed the  Revolution. 

Frederick  gave  the  Marechale  his  arm,  and  they 
strolled  along  through  the  streets.  She  was  highly  di- 
verted by  the  display  of  rosettes  in  every  buttonhole, 
by  the  banners  hung  from  every  window,  and  the  bills 
of  various  colours  that  were  posted  upon  the  walls; 
she  threw  some  money  here  and  there  into  the  collec- 
tion-boxes for  the  wounded,  which  were  placed  on 
chairs  in  the  middle  of  the  pathway.  Then  she  stopped 
before  some  caricatures  representing  Louis  Philippe 
as  a  pastry-cook,  as  a  mountebank,  as  a  dog,  or  as  a 
leech.  But  she  was  a  little  frightened  at  the  sight  of 
Caussidiere's  men  with  their  sabres  and  scarfs.  At 
other  times  it  was  a  tree  of  Liberty  that  was  being 


planted.  The  clergy  vied  with  each  other  in  blessing 
the  Republic ;  they  were  escorted  by  servants  in  gold 
lace ;  and  the  populace  thought  this  very  fine.  The 
most  frequent  sight  was  that  of  deputations  from  no 
matter  what,  going  to  demand  something  at  the  Hotel 
de  Ville — every  trade,  every  industry,  was  looking 
to  the  Government  to  put  a  complete  end  to  its  mis- 
eries. Some,  it  is  true,  went  to  offer  advice  or  con- 
gratulate, or  merely  to  pay  a  little  visit,  and  to  see  the 
Government  machine  performing  its  functions. 

One  day,  about  the  middle  of  the  month  of 
March,  as  they  were  passing  the  Pont  d'Arcole,  do- 
ing some  commission  for  Rosanette  in  the  Latin  Quar- 
ter, Frederick  saw  approaching  a  column  of  indivi- 
duals with  oddly-shaped  hats  and  long  beards.  At  its 
head,  beating  a  drum,  walked  a  negro  who  had  for- 
merly been  an  artist's  model ;  and  the  man  who  bore 
the  banner,  on  which  this  inscription  floated  in  the 
wind,  "  Artist-Painters,"  was  no  other  than  Pellerin. 

He  signed  to  Frederick  to  wait  for  him,  and  then 
reappeared  five  minutes  afterward,  having  some  time 
before  him ;  for  the  Government  was,  at  that  moment, 
receiving  a  deputation  from  the  stone-cutters.  He 
was  going  with  his  colleagues  to  ask  for  the  creation 
of  a  Forum  of  Art,  a  kind  of  Exchange  where  the 
interests  of  ^Esthetics  would  be  discussed.  Sublime 
masterpieces  would  be  produced,  as  a  result  of  the 
workers  amalgamating  their  talents.  Ere  long  Paris 
would  be  covered  with  gigantic  monuments.  He 
would  decorate  them.  He  had  even  begun  a  figure 
of  the  Republic.  One  of  his  comrades  had  come  to 
take  it,  for  they  were  closely  followed  by  the  deputa- 
tion from  the  poulterers. 

"  What  stupidity !  "  growled  a  voice  in  the  crowd. 
"  Always  some  humbug,  nothing  strong !  " 


It  was  Regimbart.  He  did  not  salute  Frederick, 
but  took  advantage  of  the  occasion  to  give  vent  to  his 
own  bitterness. 

The  Citizen  spent  his  days  wandering  about  the 
streets,  pulling  his  moustache,  rolling  his  eyes  about, 
accepting  and  spreading  any  dismal  news  that  was 
communicated  to  him ;  and  he  had  only  two  phrases : 
"  Take  care !  we're  going  to  be  run  over !  "  or  else, 
"  Why,  confound  it !  they're  juggling  with  the  Re- 
public !  "  He  was  dissatisfied  with  everything,  and 
especially  with  the  fact  that  we  had  not  regained  our 
natural  frontiers. 

The  very  name  of  Lamartine  made  him  shrug  his 
shoulders.  He  did  not  consider  Ledru-Rollin  "  suffi- 
cient for  the  problem,"  referred  to  Dupont  (of  the 
Eure)  as  an  old  numbskull,  Albert  as  an  idiot,  Louis 
Blanc  as  an  Utopist,  and  Blanqui  as  an  exceedingly 
dangerous  man ;  and  when  Frederick  asked  him  what 
he  would  advise  as  the  best  thing  to  do,  he  replied, 
pressing  his  arm  till  he  nearly  bruised  it: 

"  To  take  the  Rhine,  I  tell  you !  to  take  the  Rhine, 
damn  it !  " 

Then  he  blamed  the  Reactionaries.  They  were  tak- 
ing off  the  mask.  The  sack  of  the  Chateau  of  Neuilly 
and  Suresne,  the  fire  at  Batignolles,  the  troubles  at 
Lyons,  all  the  excesses  and  all  the  grievances,  were 
just  now  being  exaggerated  by  having  superadded  to 
them  Ledru-Rollin's  circular,  the  forced  currency  of 
bank-notes,  the  fall  of  the  funds  to  sixty  francs,  and, 
to  crown  all,  as  the  supreme  wrong,  a  final  blow,  a 
culminating  horror,  the  duty  of  forty-five  centimes ! 
And  over  and  above  all  these  things,  there  was  So- 
cialism !  Although  these  theories,  as  new  as  the  game 
of  goose,  had  been  discussed  sufficiently  for  forty  years 
to  fill  a  number  of  libraries,  they  terrified  the  wealth- 


ier  citizens,  as  if  they  had  been  a  hailstorm  of  aerolites ; 
and  they  expressed  indignation  at  them  by  reason  of 
that  hatred  which  the  advent  of  every  idea  provokes, 
simply  because  it  is  an  idea — an  odium  from  which  it 
derives  subsequently  its  glory,  and  which  causes  its 
enemies  to  be  always  beneath  it,  however  lowly  it  may 

Then  Property  attained  in  the  public  regard  the 
level  of  Religion,  and  was  confounded  with  God.  The 
attacks  made  on  it  appeared  to  them  a  sacrilege;  al- 
most a  species  of  cannibalism.  In  spite  of  the  most 
humane  legislation  that  ever  existed,  the  spectre  of 
'93  reappeared,  and  the  chopper  of  the  guillotine  vi- 
brated in  every  syllable  of  the  word  "  Republic,"  which 
did  nofprevent  them  from  despising  it  for  its  weak- 
ness. France,  no  longer  feeling  herself  in  command 
of  the  situation,  was  beginning  to  shriek  with  terror, 
like  a  blind  man  without  his  stick  or  an  infant  that 
has  lost  its  nurse. 

Of  all  Frenchmen,  M.  Dambreuse  was  the  most 
alarmed.  The  new  condition  of  things  threatened  his 
fortune,  but,  more  than  anything  else,  it  deceived  his 
experience.  A  system  so  good !  a  king  so  wise !  was 
it  possible?  The  ground  was  tottering  beneath  their 
feet!  Next  morning  he  dismissed  three  of  his  ser- 
vants, sold  his  horses,  bought  a  soft  hat  to  go  out  into 
the  streets,  considered  even  letting  his  beard  grow ; 
and  he  remained  at  home,  prostrated,  reading  over  and 
over  again  newspapers  most  hostile  to  his  own  ideas; 
he  was  plunged  into  such  gloomy  reflections  that  even 
the  jokes  about  the  pipe  of  Flocon  had  not  the  power 
to  make  him  smile. 

As  a  supporter  of  the  late  reign,  he  was  dreading 
the  vengeance  of  the  people  on  his  estates  in  Cham- 
pagne, when  Frederick's  lucubration  fell  into  his 


hands.  Then  it  occurred  to  his  mind  that  his  young 
friend  was  a  very  useful  personage,  and  that  he  might 
be  able,  if  not  to  serve  him,  at  least  to  protect  him ; 
so,  one  morning,  M.  Dambreuse  presented  himself  at 
Frederick's  residence,  accompanied  by  Martinon. 

This  visit,  he  said,  had  no  purpose  save  that  of  see- 
ing him  for  a  little  while,  and  having  a  chat.  He  re- 
joiced at  the  events  that  had  happened,  and  with  his 
whole  heart  adopted  "  our  sublime  motto,  Liberty, 
Equality  and  Fraternity,"  having  always  been  at  heart 
a  Republican.  If  he  voted  under  the  other  regime  with 
the  Ministry,  it  was  simply  in  order  to  accelerate  an 
inevitable  downfall.  He  even  inveighed  against  M. 
Guizot,  "  who  has  got  us  into  a  nice  hobble,  we  must 
admit !  "  By  way  of  retaliation,  he  spoke  enthusiasti- 
cally about  Lamartine,  who  had  shown  himself  "  mag- 
nificent, upon  my  word  of  honour,  when,  with  ref- 
erence to  the  red  flag " 

"  Yes,  I  know,"  said  Frederick.  After  which  he  de- 
clared that  his  sympathies  were  on  the  side  of  the 

"  For,  in  fact,  more  or  less,  we  are  all  working- 
men  !  "  And  he  carried  his  impartiality  so  far  as  to 
admit  that  Proudhon  had  a  certain  amount  of  logic 
in  his  views.  "  Oh,  a  great  deal  of  logic,  deuce  take 

Then,  with  the  disinterestedness  of  a  superior  mind, 
he  chatted  about  the  exhibition  of  pictures,  at  which 
he  had  seen  Pellerin's  work.  He  considered  it  origi- 
nal and  well-painted. 

Martinon  supported  all  he  said  with  expressions  of 
approval;  and  likewise  was  of  his  opinion  that  it  was 
necessary  to  rally  boldly  to  the  side  of  the  Republic. 
And  he  talked  about  the  husbandman,  his  father,  and 
assumed  the  part  of  the  peasant,  the  man  of  the  peo- 


pie.  They  soon  came  to  the  question  of  the  elections 
for  the  National  Assembly,  and  the  candidates  in 
the  arrondissement  of  La  Fortelle.  The  Opposition 
candidate  had  no  chance. 

"  You  should  take  his  place !  "  said  M.  Dambreuse. 

Frederick  protested. 

"But  why  not?"  For  he  would  obtain  the  suf- 
frages of  the  Extremists  owing  to  his  personal  opin- 
ions, and  that  of  the  Conservatives  on  account  of  his 
family ;  "  And  perhaps  also,"  added  the  banker,  with 
a  smile,  "  thanks  to  my  influence,  in  some  measure." 

Frederick  urged  as  an  obstacle  that  he  did  not  know 
how  to  set  about  the  matter. 

Nothing  was  easier  if  he  only  got  himself  recom- 
mended to  the  patriots  of  the  Aube  by  one  of  the  clubs 
of  the  capital.  All  he  had  to  do  was  to  read  out, 
not  a  profession  of  faith  such  as  might  be  seen  every 
day,  but  a  serious  statement  of  principles. 

"  Bring  it  to  me ;  I  am  familiar  with  what  goes 
down  in  the  locality ;  and  you  can,  I  say  again,  render 
great  services  to  the  country — to  us  all — to  myself." 

In  such  times  people  ought  to  assist  each  other, 
and,  if  Frederick  had  need  of  anything,  he  or  his 
friends — 

"Oh,  a  thousand  thanks,  my  dear  Monsieur!" 

"  You'll  do  as  much  for  me  in  return,  mind !  " 

Decidedly,  the  banker  was  a  decent  man. 

Frederick  could  not  refrain  from  pondering  over 
his  advice;  and  soon  he  was  dazzled  by  a  kind  of 

The  great  figures  of  the  Convention  passed  before 
his  mental  vision.  It  seemed  to  him  that  a  splendid 
dawn  was  about  to  rise.  Rome,  Vienna  and  Berlin 
were  in  a  state  of  insurrection,  and  the  Austrians  had 
been  driven  out  of  Venice.  All  Europe  was  agitated. 


Now  was  the  time  to  make  a  plunge  into  the  move- 
ment, and  perhaps  to  accelerate  it ;  and  then  he  was 
fascinated  by  the  costume  which  it  was  said  the  depu- 
ties would  wear.  Already  he  could  see  himself  in  a 
waistcoat  with  lapels  and  a  tricoloured  sash ;  and  this 
itching,  this  hallucination,  became  so  violent  that  he 
talked  the  matter  over  with  Dambreuse. 

The  honest  fellow's  enthusiasm  had  not  abated. 

"  Certainly — sure   enough.      Offer  yourself." 

Frederick,  nevertheless,  consulted  Deslauriers. 

The  idiotic  opposition  which  trammelled  the  com- 
missioner in  his  province  had  augmented  his  Liberal- 
ism. He  at  once  replied,  exhorting  Frederick  with 
the  utmost  vehemence  to  present  himself  as  a  candi- 
date. However,  as  the  latter  was  desirous  of  having 
the  approval  of  a  great  number  of  persons,  he  con- 
fided the  thing  to  Rosanette  one  day,  when  Mademoi- 
selle Vatnaz  happened  to  be  present. 

She  was  one  of  those  Parisian  spinsters  who,  every 
evening,  when  they  have  given  their  lessons  or  tried 
to  sell  little  sketches,  or  to  dispose  of  poor  manu- 
scripts, return  to  their  own  homes  with  mud  on  their 
petticoats,  prepare  their  own  dinner,  which  they  eat 
by  themselves,  and  then,  with  their  soles  resting  on 
a  foot-warmer,  by  the  light  of  a  filthy  lamp,  dream  of 
love,  a  family,  a  hearth,  wealth— all  that  they  lack. 
So  it  was  that,  like  many  others,  she  had  hailed  in  the 
Revolution  the  advent  of  vengeance,  and  she  deliv- 
ered herself  up  to  a  Socialistic  propaganda  of  the  most 
extreme  description. 

The  enfranchisement  of  the  proletariat,  according 
to  the  Vatnaz,  was  only  possible  by  the  enfranchise- 
ment of  woman.  She  wished  to  have  her  own  sex 
admitted  to  every  kind  of  employment,  to  have  strict 
inquiry  made  into  the  paternity  of  children,  a  different 


code,  the  abolition,  or  at  least  a  more  intelligent  reg- 
ulation, of  marriage.  In  that  case  every  French- 
woman would  be  bound  to  marry  a  Frenchman,  or 
to  adopt  an  old  man.  Nurses  and  midwives  should 
be  State  paid  officials. 

There  should  be  a  jury  to  examine  the  works  of 
women,  special  editors  for  women,  a  polytechnic 
school  for  women,  a  National  Guard  for  women, 
everything  for  women !  And  since  the  Government 
ignored  their  rights,  they  ought  to  overcome  force  by 
force.  Ten  thousand  citizenesses  with  good  guns 
could  make  the  Hotel  de  Ville  quake ! 

Frederick's  candidature  appeared  to  her  favourable 
to  the  carrying  out  of  her  ideas.  She  encouraged  him, 
pointing  out  the  glory  that  shone  on  the  horizon. 
Rosanette  was  delighted  at  the  notion  of  having  a 
lover  who  would  make  speeches  at  the  Chamber. 

"  And  then,  perhaps,  they'll  give  you  a  good  place?  " 

Frederick,  a  man  prone  to  every  kind  of  weakness, 
was  infected  by  the  universal  mania.  He  wrote  an 
address  and  took  it  to  M.  Dambreuse. 

At  the  sound  made  by  the  great  door  falling  back, 
a  curtain  gaped  open  a  little  behind  a  casement,  and 
a  woman  appeared  at  it.  He  had  not  time  to  find  out 
who  she  was ;  but,  in  the  anteroom,  a  picture  arrested 
his  attention — Pellerin's  picture — which  lay  on  a  chair, 
no  doubt  provisionally. 

It  represented  the  Republic,  or  Progress,  or  Civili- 
sation, under  the  form  of  Jesus  Christ  driving  a  loco- 
motive, which  was  passing  through  a  virgin  forest. 
Frederick,  after  a  minute's  contemplation,  exclaimed: 

"  What  a  vile  thing !  " 

"  Is  it  not,  eh  ?  "  said  M.  Dambreuse,  entering  un- 
expectedly just  at  the  moment  when  the  other  was 
giving  utterance  to  this  opinion,  and  fancying  that  it 


had  reference,  not  so  much  to  the  picture  as  to  the 
doctrine  it  glorified.  Martinon  presented  himself  at 
the  same  time.  They  made  their  way  into  the  study, 
and  Frederick  was  drawing  a  paper  out  of  his  pocket, 
when  Mademoiselle  Cecile,  entering  suddenly,  said, 
articulating  her  words  in  an  ingenuous  fashion : 

"  Is  my  aunt  here  ?  " 

"  You  know  perfectly  well  she  is  not,"  replied  the 
banker.  "  No  matter !  act  as  if  you  were  at  home, 

"  Oh,  thanks !     I  am  going  away !  " 

Scarcely  had  she  left  when  Martinon  seemed  to  be 
searching  for  his  handkerchief. 

"  I  forgot  to  take  it  out  of  my  coat — excuse  me !  " 

"  All  right !  "  said  M.  Dambreuse. 

Evidently  he  was  not  deceived  by  this  manoeuvre, 
and  even  seemed  to  regard  it  with  favour.  Why? 
But  Martinon  soon  reappeared,  and  Frederick  began 
reading  his  address. 

At  the  second  page,  which  pointed  toward  the  pre- 
ponderance of  financial  interests  as  a  disgraceful  fact, 
the  banker  made  a  grimace.  Then,  touching  on  re- 
forms, Frederick  demanded  free  trade. 

"  What  ?    Allow  me,  now !  " 

The  other  paid  no  attention,  and  continued.  He 
favoured  a  tax  on  yearly  incomes,  a  progressive  tax, 
a  European  federation,  and  the  education  of  the  peo- 
ple, the  encouragement  of  the  fine  arts  on  a  liberal 

"  When  the  country  could  provide  men  like  Dela- 
croix or  Hugo  with  incomes  of  a  hundred  thousand 
francs,  where  would  be  the  harm?  " 

At  the  close  of  the  address  advice  was  given  to 
the  upper  classes. 

"  Spare  nothing,  ye  rich ;  but  give !  give !  " 


He  stopped,  and  remained  standing.  His  two  listen- 
ers did  not  utter  a  word.  Martinon  opened  his  eyes 
wide ;  M.  Dambreuse  was  quite  pale.  At  last,  conceal- 
ing his  emotion  under  a  bitter  smile : 

"  That  address  of  yours  is  simply  perfect !  "  And 
he  praised  the  style  highly  in  order  to  avoid  giving  his 
opinion  as  to  the  matter  of  the  address. 

This  virulence  on  the  part  of  an  inoffensive  young 
man  frightened  him,  especially  as  a  dangerous  sign 
of  the  times. 

Martinon  tried  to  reassure  him.  The  Conservative 
party,  in  a  little  while,  would  certainly  be  in  a  position, 
to  take  its  revenge.  In  several  cities  the  commission- 
ers of  the  provisional  government  had  been  driven 
away;  the  elections  were  not  due  till  the  twenty-third 
of  April ;  there  was  plenty  of  time.  In  short,  it  was 
necessary  for  M.  Dambreuse  to  present  himself  per- 
sonally in  the  Aube ;  and  from  that  time  forth,  Mar- 
tinon remained  by  his  side,  became  his  secretary,  and 
was  as  attentive  to  him  as  a  son. 

Frederick  arrived  at  Rosanette's  house  in  a  very 
self-complacent  mood.  Delmar  happened  to  be  there, 
and  told  him  of  his  intention  to  stand  as  a  candidate 
at  the  Seine  elections.  In  a  placard  to  the  people,  in 
which  he  addressed  them  in  the  familiar  manner  which 
one  adopts  toward  an  individual,  the  actor  boasted  of 
being  able  to  understand  them,  and  of  having,  in  or- 
der to  save  them,  got  himself  "  crucified  for  the  sake 
of  art,"  so  that  he  was  the  incarnation,  the  ideal  of  the 
popular  spirit,  believing  that  he  had,  in  fact,  such 
enormous  power  over  the  masses  that  he  proposed  by- 
and-by,  when  he  occupied  a  ministerial  office,  to  quell 
any  outbreak  alone ;  and,  when  asked  what  means  he 
would  employ,  he  gave  this  answer :  "  Never  fear !  I'll 
show  them  my  head !  " 


Frederick,  in  order  to  mortify  him,  gave  him  to 
understand  that  he  was  himself  a  candidate.  The 
mummer,  from  the  moment  that  his  future  colleague 
aspired  to  represent  the  province,  pronounced  himself 
his  servant,  and  offered  to  be  his  guide  to  the  various 

They  visited  them,  or  nearly  all,  the  red  and  the 
blue,  the  furious  and  the  tranquil,  the  puritanical  and 
the  licentious,  the  mystical  and  the  intemperate,  those 
that  had  voted  for  the  death  of  kings,  and  those  in 
which  the  frauds  in  the  grocery  trade  had  been  de- 
nounced ;  and  everywhere  the  tenants  cursed  the  land- 
lords ;  the  blouse  was  full  of  spite  against  broadcloth ; 
and  the  rich  conspired  against  the  poor.  Many 
wanted  indemnities  on  the  ground  that  they  had  for- 
merly been  martyrs  of  the  police ;  others  appealed  for 
money  to  carry  out  certain  inventions,  or  else  there 
were  plans  of  phalansteria,  projects  for  cantonal  ba- 
zaars, systems  of  public  felicity ;  then,  here  and  there  a 
flash  of  genius  amid  these  clouds  of  folly,  sudden  as 
splashes,  the  law  formulated  by  an  oath,  and  flowers  of 
eloquence  on  the  lips  of  some  soldier-boy,  with  a 
shoulder-belt  strapped  over  his  bare,  shirtless  chest. 
Sometimes,  too,  a  gentleman  made  his  appearance — an 
aristocrat  of  humble  demeanour,  talking  in  a  plebeian 
strain,  and  with  his  hands  unwashed,  so  as  to  make 
them  look  hard.  A  patriot  would  recognise  him ;  the 
most  virtuous  would  mob  him ;  and  he  would  go  off 
with  rage  in  his  soul.  On  the  pretext  of  good  sense, 
it  was  desirable  to  be  always  disparaging  the  advo- 
cates, and  to  reiterate  as  often  as  possible  these  ex- 
pressions :  "  To  carry  his  stone  to  the  building,"  "  so- 
cial problem,"  "  workshop." 

Delmar  did  not  miss  any  opportunity  for  getting  in  a 
word ;  and  when  he  no  longer  found  anything  to  say, 


he  would  plant  himself  in  some  conspicuous  position 
with  one  of  his  arms  akimbo  and  the  other  in  his  waist- 
coat, turning  himself  round  abruptly  in  profile,  so  as 
to  give  a  good  view  of  his  head.  Then  there  were 
outbursts  of  applause,  led  by  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz  at 
the  lower  end  of  the  hall. 

Frederick,  in  spite  of  the  weakness  of  orators,  did 
not  dare  to  try  the  experiment  of  speaking.  All  the 
people  around  seemed  to  him  too  unpolished  or  too 

Dussardier  made  inquiries,  and  informed  him  that 
there  existed  in  the  Rue  Saint-Jacques  a  club  which 
bore  the  name  of  the  "  Club  of  Intellect."  Such  a 
name  sounded  hopeful.  Besides,  he  would  bring  some 
friends  of  his  own  there. 

He  brought  those  whom  he  had  invited  to  take 
punch  with  him — the  bookkeeper,  the  traveller  in 
wines,  and  the  architect;  even  Pellerin  had  agreed  to 
come,  and  Hussonnet  would  probably  form  one  of  the 
party,  and  on  the  footpath  before  the  door  stood  Re- 
gimbart,  with  two  men,  the  first  of  whom  was  his 
faithful  Compain,  a  rather  thick-set  man  marked  with 
smallpox  and  with  bloodshot  eyes ;  and  the  second, 
an  ape-like  negro,  exceedingly  hairy,  and  whom  he 
knew  only  in  the  character  of  "  a  patriot  from  Barce- 

They  passed  through  a  passage,  leading  into  a  large 
room,  probably  used  by  a  joiner,  with  walls  still  fresh 
and  smelling  of  plaster.  Four  argand  lamps  hung  par- 
allel to  each  other,  and  shed  an  unpleasant  light.  On 
a  platform,  at  the  end  of  the  room,  there  was  a  desk 
on  which  was  a  bell ;  underneath  it  a  table,  represent- 
ing the  rostrum,  and  on  each  side  two  others,  some- 
what lower,  for  the  secretaries.  The  audience  that 
occupied  the  benches  consisted  of  old  painters  of 


daubs,  ushers,  and  literary  men  who  could  not  get 
their  works  published. 

In  the  midst  of  those  lines  of  paletots  with  greasy 
collars  might  be  seen  here  and  there  a  woman's  cap 
or  a  workman's  linen  smock.  The  end  of  the  apart- 
ment was  full  of  workmen,  who  had  in  all  likelihood 
come  there  to  pass  away  an  idle  hour,  and  who  had 
been  invited  by  some  of  the  speakers  in  order  that  they 
might  applaud. 

Frederick  took  care  to  place  himself  between  Dus- 
sardier  and  Regimbart,  who  was  scarcely  seated  be- 
fore he  leaned  both  hands  on  his  walking-stick  and 
his  chin  on  his  hands  and  shut  his  eyes,  whilst  at  the 
other  end  of  the  room  Delmar  stood  looking  down  at 
the  crowd.  Senecal  appeared  at  the  president's  desk. 

The  worthy  bookkeeper  thought  Frederick  would 
be  pleased  at  this.  It  only  annoyed  him. 

The  meeting  manifested  great  respect  for  the  presi- 
dent. He  was  one  who,  on  the  twenty-fifth  of  Feb- 
ruary, had  advised  an  immediate  organisation  of  la- 
bour. On  the  following  day,  at  the  Prado,  he  had 
declared  himself  in  favour  of  attacking  the  Hotel  de 
Ville;  and,  as  every  person  at  that  period  took  some 
model  for  imitation,  one  copied  Saint- Just,  another 
Danton,  another  Marat;  he  tried  to  be  like  Blanqui, 
who  imitated  Robespierre.  His  black  gloves,  and  his 
straight  hair  brushed  back,  gave  him  a  rigid  aspect 
exceedingly  becoming. 

He  opened  the  proceedings  with  the  declaration  of 
the  Rights  of  Man  and  of  the  Citizen — a  customary 
act  of  faith.  Then,  a  vigorous  voice  struck  up  Be- 
ranger's  Souvenirs  du  Peuple. 

Other  voices  were  raised :  "  No  !  no !  not  that !  " 

"La  Casquette!"  the  patriots  at  the  end  of  the 
apartment  began  to  howl. 


And  they  sang  in  chorus  the  favourite  lines  of  the 

Deriod : 

"Doff  your  hat  before  my  cap — 
Kneel  before  the  working-man!" 

At  a  word  from  the  president  the  audience  became 

One  of  the  secretaries  proceeded  to  inspect  the  let- 

Some  young-  men  announced  that  they  burned  a 
lumber  of  copies  of  the  Assemblee  Nationale  every 
evening  in  front  of  the  Pantheon,  and  they  urged  on 
ill  patriots  to  follow  their  example. 

"  Bravo !  adopted !  "  responded  the  audience. 

The  Citizen  Jean  Jacques  Langreneux,  a  printer  in 
:he  Rue  Dauphin,  suggested  that  a  monument  should 
)e  raised  to  the  memory  of  the  martyrs  of  Thermi- 

Michel  Evariste  Nepomucene,  ex-professor,  gave 
expression  to  the  wish  that  the  European  democracy 
;hould  adopt  unity  of  language.  A  dead  language 
night  be  used  for  that  purpose — as,  for  example,  im- 
)roved  Latin. 

"  No ;  no  Latin  !  "  exclaimed  the  architect. 

"  Why  ?  "  said  the  college-usher. 

And  these  two  gentlemen  engaged  in  a  discussion, 
n  which  the  others  joined,  each  putting  in  a  word  of 
lis  own  for  effect;  and  the  conversation  on  this  topic 
soon  became  so  tedious  that  many  left.  A  little  old 
nan,  who  wore  at  the  top  of  his  prodigiously  high 
rorehead  a  pair  of  green  spectacles,  asked  permission 
o  speak  in  order  to  make  an  important  communica- 

It  was  a  memorandum  on  the  assessment  of  taxes. 
Fhe  figures  flowed  on  in  a  continuous  stream,  as  if 
:hey  were  never  going  to  end.  The  impatience  of  the 


audience  was  shown  at  first  in  murmurs,  in  whispered 
talk.  He  allowed  nothing  to  stop  him.  Then  they 
began  hissing ;  they  catcalled  him.  Senecal  called  the 
persons  who  were  interrupting  to  order.  The  speaker 
went  on  like  a  machine.  It  was  necessary  to  catch1  him 
by  the  shoulder  in  order  to  make  him  cease.  The  old 
fellow  looked  as  if  he  were  waking  out  of  a  dream, 
and,  placidly  lifting  his  spectacles,  said : 

"  Pardon  me,  citizens !  pardon  me !  I  am  going — 
a  thousand  excuses !  " 

Frederick  was  disconcerted  with  the  failure  of  the 
old  man's  attempts  to  read  this  written  statement. 
He  had  his  own  address  in  his  pocket,  but  an  extem- 
poraneous speech  w^ould  have  been  preferable. 

Finally  the  president  announced  that  they  were 
about  to  pass  on  to  the  important  matter,  the  elec- 
toral question.  They  would  not  discuss  the  big  Re- 
publican lists.  However,  the  "  Club  of  Intellect  "  had 
every  right,  like  every  other,  to  form  one,  "  with  all  re- 
spect for  the  pachas  of  the  Hotel  de  Ville,  and  the 
citizens  who  solicited  the  popular  mandate  might  now 
set  forth  their  claims. 

"  Go  on,  now !  "  said  Dussardier. 

A  man  in  a  cassock,  with  woolly  hair  and  a  petu- 
lant expression  on  his  face,  had  raised  his  hand.  He 
said,  with  a  stutter,  that  his  name  was  Ducretot, 
priest  and  agriculturist,  and  that  he  was  the  author 
of  a  work  entitled  Manures.  He  was  advised  to  send 
it  to  a  horticultural  club. 

Then  a  patriot  in  a  blouse  climbed  to  the  rostrum. 
He  was  a  plebeian,  with  broad  shoulders,  a  big  face, 
very  mild-looking,  with  long  black  hair.  He  cast  on 
the  assembly  an  almost  voluptuous  glance,  flung  back 
his  head,  and,  finally,  spreading  out  his  arms: 

"  You  have  repelled  Ducretot,  O  my  brothers !  and 


you  have  done  right;  but  it  was  not  through  irre- 
Hgion,  for  we  are  all  religious." 

Many  of  those  present  listened  open-mouthed,  with 
the  air  of  catechumens  and  in  ecstatic  attitudes. 

"  It  is  not  either  because  he  is  a  priest,  for  we,  too, 
are  priests !  The  workman  is  a  priest,  just  as  the 
founder  of  Socialism  was — the  Master  of  us  all,  Jesus 
Christ !  " 

The  time  had  arrived  to  inaugurate  the  Kingdom 
of  God.  The  Gospel  led  directly  to  '89.  After  the 
abolition  of  slavery,  the  abolition  of  the  proletariat. 
They  had  had  the  age  of  hate — the  age  of  love  was 
about  to  begin. 

"  Christianity  is  the  keystone  and  the  foundation  of 
the  new  edifice " 

"  You  are  making  game  of  us ! "  exclaimed  the 
traveller  in  wines.  "  Who  has  given  me  a  priest's 
cap?  " 

This  interruption  gave  great  offence.  Nearly  all 
the  audience  got  on  benches,  and,  shaking  their  fists, 
shouted  :  "  Atheist !  aristocrat !  low  rascal !  "  whilst  the 
president's  bell  kept  ringing  continuously,  and  the 
cries  of  "  Order !  order !  "  redoubled.  But,  aimless, 
and,  moreover,  fortified  by  three  cups  of  coffee  which 
he  had  swallowed  before  coming  to  the  meeting,  he 
struggled  in  the -midst  of  the  others: 

"What?  I  an  aristocrat?    Come,  now!" 

When,  at  length,  he  was  permitted  to  explain,  he 
declared  that  he  would  never  be  at  peace  with  the 
priests ;  and,  since  something  had  just  been  said  about 
economical  measures,  it  would  be  a  splendid  begin- 
ning to  put  an  end  to  the  churches,  the  sacred  pyxes, 
and  finally  all  creeds. 

Somebody  raised  the  objection  that  he  was  going 
very  far. 


"  Yes !  I  am  going  very  far !  But,  when  a  vessel  is 
caught  suddenly  in  a  storm — 

Without  waiting  for  the  conclusion  of  this  simile, 
another  said : 

"  Granted !  But  this  is  to  demolish  at  a  single  stroke, 
like  a  mason  devoid  of  judgment — 

"  You  are  insulting  the  masons !  "  yelled  a  citizen 
covered  with  plaster.  And  persisting  in  the  belief  that 
provocation  had  been  offered  to  him,  he  poured  forth 
insults,  and  wished  to  fight,  clinging  tightly  to  the 
bench  whereon  he  sat.  It  took  no  less  than  three  men 
to  put  him  out. 

Meanwhile  the  workman  still  remained  on  the  ros- 
trum. The  two  secretaries  gave  him  an  intimation 
that  he  should  descend.  He  protested  against  the 
injustice  done  to  him. 

"  You  shall  not  prevent  me  from  crying  out,  '  Eter- 
nal love  to  our  dear  France !  eternal  love  to  the  Re- 
public ! ' : 

"  Citizens  !  "  said  Compain,  after  this — "  Citizens !  " 

And,  by  dint  of  repeating  "  Citizens,"  having  ob- 
tained a  little  silence,  he  leaned  on  the  rostrum  with 
his  two  red  hands,  which  looked  like  stumps,  bent 
forward  his  body,  and  blinking  his  eyes : 

"  I  believe  that  it  would  be  necessary  to  give  a  larger 
extension  to  the  calf's  head." 

All  who  heard  him  kept  silent,  fancying  that  they 
had  misunderstood  his  words. 

"  Yes !  the  calf's  head !  " 

Three  hundred  laughs  burst  forth  at  the  same  mo- 
ment. The  ceiling  shook. 

At  the  sight  of  all  these  faces  convulsed  with  mirth, 
Compain  shrank  back.  He  continued  in  an  angry 

"  What !  you  don't  know  what  the  calf's  head  is !  " 


It  was  a  paroxysm,  a  delirium.  They  held  their 
sides.  Some  of  them  even  tumbled  off  the  benches 
to  the  ground  in  convulsions  of  laughter.  Compain, 
not  being  able  to  bear  it  any  longer,  took  refuge  be- 
side Regimbart,  and  wanted  to  drag  him  away. 

"  No !  I  shall  remain  till  'tis  all  over !  "said  the  Cit- 

This  reply  caused  Frederick  to  come  to  a  decision; 
and,  as  he  looked  about  to  the  right  and  the  left  to 
see  whether  his  friends  were  prepared  to  support  him, 
he  saw  Pellerin  standing  on  the  rostrum  in  front  of 

The  artist  assumed  a  haughty  tone  in  addressing 
the  meeting. 

"  I  would  like  to  get  some  notion  as  to  who  is  the 
candidate  amongst  all  these  that  represent  art.  For 
my  part,  I  have  painted  a  picture." 

"  We  have  nothing  to  do  with  painting  pictures !  " 
was  the  churlish  remark  of  a  thin  man  with  red  spots 
on  his  cheek-bones. 

Pellerin  protested  against  this  interruption. 

But  the  other,  in  a  tragic  tone : 

"  Ought  not  the  Government  to  make  an  ordinance 
abolishing  prostitution  and  want?" 

And  this  phrase  having  at  once  won  the  popular 
favour,  he  thundered  against  the  corruption  of  great 

"  Shame  and  infamy !  We  ought  to  catch  hold  of 
wealthy  citizens  on  their  way  out  of  the  Maison  d'Or 
and  spit  in  their  faces — unless  it  be  that  the  Govern- 
ment justifies  debauchery!  The  collectors  of  the 
city  dues  exhibit  toward  our  daughters  and  our  sis- 
ters an  amount  of  indecency " 

A  voice  exclaimed,  some  distance  away: 

"  This  is  blackguard  language !    Turn  him  out !  " 


'  They  extract  taxes  from  us  to  pay  for  licentious- 
ness!     Thus,  the  high  salaries  paid  to  actors " 

"  Help !  "  cried  Pellerin. 

He  leaped  from  the  rostrum,  pushed  everybody 
aside,  and  declaring-  that  he  regarded  such  stupid  ac- 
cusations with  disgust,  expatiated  on  the  civilising 
mission  of  the  player.  Inasmuch  as  the  theatre  was 
the  focus  of  national  education,  he  would  record  his 
vote  for  the  reform  of  the  theatre ;  and  to  begin  with, 
no  more  managements,  no  more  privileges ! 

"  Yes  ;  of  any  sort !  " 

The  actor's  manner  excited  the  audience,  and  peo- 
ple moved  backward  and  forward  knocking  each  other 

"  No  more  academies !    No  more  institutes !  " 

"  No  missions !  " 

"  No  more  bachelorships !  Down  with  the  Univer- 
sity degrees !  " 

"  Let  us  preserve  them,"  said  Senecal ;  "  but  let 
them  be  conferred  by  universal  suffrage,  by  the  peo- 
ple, the  only  true  judge !  " 

Besides,  these  things  were  not  the  most  important. 
It  was  necessary  to  find  a  level  which  would  be  above 
the  heads  of  the  wealthy.  And  he  represented  them 
as  gorging  themselves  with  crimes  under  their  gilded 
ceilings ;  while  the  starving  poor,  writhing  in  their 
garrets,  cultivated  every  virtue.  The  applause  became 
so  vehement  that  it  interrupted  his  discourse.  For 
several  minutes  he  remained  with  his  eyes  closed,  his 
head  thrown  back,  and,  as  it  were,  lulling  himself  to 
sleep  over  the  fury  which  he  had  aroused. 

Then  he  began  to  talk  in  a  dogmatic  way,  in  phrases 
as  imperious  as  laws.  The  State  should  take  pos- 
session of  the  banks  and  the  insurance  offices.  In- 
heritances should  be  abolished.  A  social  fund  should 


be  established  for  the  workers.  Many  other  measures 
were  desirable  in  the  future.  For  the  time  being, 
these  would  suffice,  and,  returning  to  the  question  of 
the  elections :  "  We  need  pure  citizens,  men  entirely 
fresh.  Let  some  one  offer  himself." 

Frederick  arose.  There  was  a  buzz  of  approval 
made  by  his  friends.  Senecal,  assuming  the  attitude 
of  a  Fouquier-Tinville,  began  to  ask  questions  as  to 
his  first  name  and  surname,  his  antecedents,  life,  and 

Frederick  answered  succinctly,  and  bit  his  lips. 
Senecal  asked  whether  anyone  saw  any  impediment 
to  this  candidature. 

"  No !  no  !  " 

But,  for  his  part,  he  saw  some.  All  around  him 
bent  forward  and  strained  their  ears  to  listen.  The 
citizen  who  was  seeking  for  their  support  had  not  de- 
livered a  certain  sum  promised  by  him  for  the  found- 
ing of  a  democratic  journal.  Moreover,  on  the 
twenty-second  of  February,  though  he  had  had  due  no- 
tice, he  had  failed  to  be  at  the  meeting-place  in  the 
Place  de  Pantheon. 

"  I  swear  that  he  was  at  the  Tuileries !  "  exclaimed 

"  Can  you  swear  to  having  seen  him  at  the  Pan- 
theon ?  " 

Dussardier  hung  down  his  head.  Frederick  was 
silent.  His  friends,  scandalised,  regarded  him  anx- 

"  In  any  case,"  Senecal  went  on,  "  do  you  know 
any  patriot  who  will  answer  to  us  for  your  princi- 
ples ?  " 

"  I  will !  "  said  Dussardier. 

"  Oh !  that  is  not  enough ;  another !  " 

Frederick  turned  round  to  Pellerin.     The  artist  re- 


plied  to  him  with  a  number  of  gestures,  which  meant : 

"Ah!  my  dear  boy,  they  have  rejected  myself! 
The  deuce  !  What  would  you  have  ?  " 

Thereupon  Frederick  gave  Regimbart  a  nudge. 

"Yes,  all  right;  'tis  time!     I'm  going." 

And  Regimbart  stepped  upon  the  platform;  then, 
pointing  toward  the  Spaniard,  who  had  followed  him: 

"  Allow  me,  citizens,  to  present  to  you  a  patriot 
from  Barcelona !  " 

The  patriot  made  a  low  bow,  rolled  his  gleaming 
eyes  about,  and  with  his  hand  on  his  heart : 

"  Ciudadanos!  mucho  aprecio  el  honour  that  you 
have  bestowed  on  me !  however,  great  may  be  vuestra 
bondad,  mayor  vuestra  atention!" 

"  I  claim  the  right  to  speak !  "  cried  Frederick. 

"  Desde  que  se  proclamo  la  constitution  de  Cadiz, 
ese  pacto  fundamental  de  las  libertades  Espanolas, 
hasta  la  ultima  revolution,  nuestra  patria  cuenta  num- 
eros  y  heroicos  mdrtires." 

Frederick  once  more  endeavoured  to  obtain  a  hear- 

"  But,  citizens ! ' 

The  Spaniard  continued  :'f  El  martes  proximo  ten- 
dra  lugar  en  la  iglesia  de  la  Magdelcna  un  scrvicio 

"  This  is  ridiculous !  Nobody  understands  him !  " 

This  observation  exasperated  the  audience. 

"  Turn  him  out !     Turn  him  out !  " 

"Who?     I?"  asked  Frederick. 

"  Yourself!  "  said  Senecal,  majestically.  "  Out  with 

He  rose  to  leave,  and  the  voice  of  the  Iberian  pur- 
sued him: 

"  Y  todos  los  Espanoles  descarien  ver  alii  reunidas 
las  disputaciones  de  los  clubs  y  de  la  militia  national. 


An  oracion  fiinebre  en  honour  of  the  libertad  Espanola 
y  del  mundo  entcro  will  be  prononciado  por  un  miem- 
bro  del  clcro  of  Paris  en  la  sala  Bonne  Xouvelle. 
Honour  al  pueblo  franccs  qne  llamaria  yo  el  primero 
pueblo  del  mundo,  sino  fnese  ciudadano  de  otra  na- 
cion!  " 

"  Aristo!"  screamed  one  blackguard,  shaking  his 
fist  at  Frederick,  as  the  latter,  boiling  with  indignation, 
rushed  out  into  the  yard  adjoining  the  place  where 
the  meeting  was  held. 

He  blamed  himself  for  his  devotedness,  without  re- 
flecting that,  after  all,  the  accusations  brought  against 
him  were  just. 

What  fatal  idea  was  this  candidature !  But  what 
asses !  what  idiots !  He  drew  comparisons  between 
himself  and  these  men,  and  soothed  his  wounded 
pride  with  the  thought  of  their  stupidity. 

Then  he  sought  Rosanette.  After  such  an  exhibi- 
tion of  ugly  traits,  and  so  much  magniloquence,  her 
dainty  person  would  be  a  relaxation.  She  was  aware 
that  he  had  intended  to  present  himself  at  a  club  that 
evening.  However,  she  did  not  ask  a  single  question 
when  he  came  in.  She  was  seated  near  the  fire,  rip- 
ping open  the  lining  of  a  dress.  He  was  surprised 
to  find  her  thus  occupied. 

"  Hallo!  what  are  you  doing?" 

"  You  can  see  for  yourself,"  said  she,  dryly.  "  I 
am  mending  my  clothes !  So  much  for  this  Republic 
of  yours !  " 

"  Why  do  you  call  it  mine?  " 

"  Perhaps  you  want  to  make  out  that  it's  mine !  " 

And  she  began  to  reproach  him  for  everything  that 
had  happened  in  France  for  the  last  two  months,  ac- 
cusing him  of  having  brought  about  the  Revolution 
and  with  having  ruined  her  prospects  by  making 


everybody  with  money  leave  Paris,  and  that  she  would 
by-and-by  be  dying  in  a  hospital. 

"  It  is  easy  for  you  to  talk  lightly  about  it,  with 
your  yearly  income !  However,  at  the  rate  at  which 
things  are  happening,  you  won't  have  your  yearly  in- 
come long." 

:'  That  may  be,"  said  Frederick.  "  The  most  de- 
voted are  always  misunderstood,  and  if  one  were  not 
sustained  by  one's  conscience,  the  brutes  that  you  mix 
yourself  up  with  would  disgust  you  with  your  own 
self-denial !  " 

Rosanctte  gazed  at  him  with  knitted  brows. 

"Eh?  What?  What  self-denial?  Monsieur  has 
not  been  successful,  it  would  seem?  So  much  the 
better !  It  will  teach  you  to  make  patriotic  donations. 
Oh,  don't  lie!  I  know  you  have  given  them  three 
hundred  francs,  for  this  Republic  of  yours  has  to  be 
kept.  Well,  amuse  yourself  with  it,  my  good  man ! " 

Under  this  avalanche  of  abuse,  Frederick  passed 
from  his  former  disappointment  to  a  more  painful 

He  withdrew  to  the  lower  end  of  the  apartment. 
She  came  after  him. 

"  Listen  to  me !  Think  it  out  a  bit !  In  a  country  as 
in  a  house,  there  must  be  a  master,  otherwise,  every- 
one pockets  something  out  of  the  money  spent.  Every- 
body knows  that  Ledru-Rollin  is  head  over  ears  in 
debt.  As  for  Lamartine,  how  can  you  expect  a  poet 
to  understand  politics  ?  Ah !  'tis  all  very  well  for  you 
to  shake  your  head  and  to  think  that  you  have  more 
brains  than  others;  all  the  same,  what  I  say  is  true! 
But  you  are  always  cavilling ;  one  can't  get  in  a  word 
with  you!  For  instance,  there's  Fournier- Fontaine, 
who  had  stores  at  Saint-Roch !  do  you  know  how 
much  he  failed  for  ?  Eight  hundred  thousand  francs ! 


And  Corner,  the  packer  opposite  to  him — another  Re- 
publican, that  one — he  smashed  the  tongs  on  his  wife's 
head,  and  he  drank  so  much  absinthe  that  he  is  going 
to  be  put  into  a  private  asylum.  That's  the  way  with 
the  lot  of  them — the  Republicans !  A  Republic  at 
twenty-five  per  cent.  Ah !  plume  yourself  upon  it !  " 

Frederick  took  himself  off.  He  was  disgusted  at 
the  foolishness  of  this  girl,  which  revealed  itself  all  at 
once  in  the  language  of  the  populace.  He  felt  himself 
becoming  a  little  patriotic  once  more. 

The  ill-temper  of  Rosanette  only  increased.  Made- 
moiselle Vatnaz  irritated  him  with  her  enthusiasm. 
Believing  that  she  had  a  mission,  she  felt  a  furious 
desire  to  make  speeches,  to  carry  on  discussions,  and 
— sharper  than  Rosanette  in  matters  of  this  sort — over- 
whelmed her  with  arguments. 

One  day  she  made  her  appearance  burning  with  in- 
dignation against  Hussonnet,  who  had  just  indulged 
in  some  blackguard  remarks  at  the  Woman's  Club. 
Rosanette  approved  of  his  conduct,  declaring  that 
she  would  take  to  men's  clothes  herself  to  go  and 
"  give  them  a  bit  of  her  mind,  the  entire  lot  of  them, 
and  to  whip  them." 

Frederick  entered  at  the  same  moment. 

"  You'll  accompany  me — won't  you  ?  " 

And,  in  spite  of  his  presence,  there  was  a  bickering 
match,  one  of  them  playing  the  part  of  a  citizen's  wife 
and  the  other  of  a  female  philosopher. 

According  to  Rosanette,  women  were  born  exclu- 
sively for  love,  or  in  order  to  bring  up  children,  to 
be  housekeepers. 

According  to  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz,  women  were  en- 
titled to  a  position  in  the  Government.  In  former 
times,  the  Gaulish  women,  and  also  the  Anglo-Saxon 
women,  took  part  in  the  legislation ;  the  squaws  of  the 


Hurons  formed  a  portion  of  the  Council.  The  work  of 
civilisation  was  common  to  both.  It  was  necessary 
that  all  should  contribute  toward  it,  and  that  frater- 
nity should  be  substituted  for  egoism,  association  for 
individualism,  and  cultivation  on  a  large  scale  for 
minute  subdivision  of  land. 

"  Come,  that  is  good !  you  know  a  great  deal  about 
culture  just  now!  " 

"  Why  not  ?  "  Besides,  it  is  a  question  of  the  future 
of  humanity !  " 

"  Attend  to  your  own  business !  " 

'  This  is  my  business !  " 

They  got  into  a  passion.  Frederick  interposed.  The 
Vatnaz  became  very  heated,  and  went  so  far  as  to  up- 
hold Communism. 

"  What  nonsense  !  "  said  Rosanette.  "  How  could 
such  a  thing  ever  come  to  pass  ?  " 

The  other  brought  forward  in  support  of  her  theory 
the  examples  of  the  Essenes,  the  Moravian  Brethren, 
the  Jesuits  of  Paraguay,  the  family  of  the  Pingons 
near  Thiers  in  Auvergne ;  and,  as  she  gesticulated 
wildly,  her  gold  chain  became  entangled  in  her  bun- 
dle of  trinkets,  to  which  was  attached  a  gold  orna- 
ment in  the  form  of  a  sheep. 

Suddenly,  Rosanette  turned  exceedingly  pale. 

Madame  Vatnaz  continued  extricating  her  trinkets. 

"  Don't  give  yourself  so  much  trouble,"  said  Rosa- 
nette. "  Now,  I  know  your  political  opinions." 

"  What  ?  "  replied  the  Vatnaz,  with  a  blush  on  her 
face,  like  that  of  a  virgin. 

"  Oh !  oh !  you  understand  me." 

Frederick  did  not  understand.  Something  had  evi- 
dently taken  place  between  them  of  a  more  important 
and  intimate  character  than  Socialism. 

"  And  even  though  it  should  be  so,"  said  the  Vat- 


naz  in  reply,  rising  up  unflinchingly.  "  'Tis  a  loan, 
my  dear — set  off  one  debt  against  the  other." 

"  Faith,  I  never  deny  my  own  debts.  I  owe  some 
thousands  of  francs — a  nice  sum.  I  borrow,  at  least; 
I  don't  rob  anyone." 

Mademoiselle  Vatnaz  made  an  effort  to  laugh. 

"  Oh !  I  would  put  my  hand  in  the  fire  for  him." 

"  Take  care !  it  is  dry  enough  to  burn." 

The  spinster  extended  her  right  hand,  and  keeping 
it  raised  in  front  of  her : 

"  But  there  are  friends  of  yours  who  find  it  con- 
venient to  use." 

"  Andalusians,  I  suppose?  as  castanets?" 

"You  beggar!" 

The  Marechale  made  her  a  low  bow. 

"  There's  nobody  so  charming !  " 

Mademoiselle  Vatnaz  did  not  reply.  Beads  of  per- 
spiration stood  on  her  temples.  Her  eyes  fixed  them- 
selves on  the  carpet.  She  panted  for  breath.  At  last 
she  reached  the  door,  and  slamming  it  vigorously: 
"  Good  night !  You'll  hear  from  me !  " 

"  Much  I  care !  "  said  Rosanette.  The  effort  of 
self-control  had  shattered  her  nerves.  She  sank  down 
on  the  divan,  shaking  all  over,  stammering  forth  words 
of  abuse,  shedding  tears.  Was  it  this  threat  on  the 
part  of  the  Vatnaz  that  had  agitated  her  mind?  Oh, 
no !  what  did  she  care,  indeed,  about  that  one  ?  It 
was  the  golden  sheep,  a  present,  and  in  the  midst  of 
her  tears  the  name  of  Delmar  escaped  her  lips.  So, 
then,  she  was  still  in  love  with  the  mummer? 

"  In  that  case,  why  did  she  take  on  with  me  ? " 
Frederick  asked  himself.  "  How  is  it  that  he  has 
returned  •  again  ?  Who  compels  her  to  keep  me  ? 
Where  is  the  sense  of  this  sort  of  thing?  " 

Rosanette  was  still  sobbing.     She  lay  all  the  time 


on  the  edge  of  the  divan,  with  her  right  cheek  rest- 
ing on  her  two  hands,  and  she  seemed  a  being  so 
dainty,  so  free  from  self-consciousness,  and  so  sorely 
troubled,  that  he  drew  closer  to  her  and  softly  kissed 
her  on  the  forehead. 

Thereupon  she  gave  him  assurances  of  her  affec- 
tion for  him ;  the  Prince  had  just  left  her,  they  would 
be  free.  But  she  was  for  the  time  being  short  of 
money.  "  You  saw  yourself  that  this  was  so,  the 
other  day,  when  I  was  trying  to  turn  my  old  linings 
to  use."  No  more  equipages  now !  And  this  was 
not  all;  the  upholsterer  was  threatening  to  take  pos- 
session of  the  bedroom  and  the  large  drawing-room 
furniture.  She  did  not  know  what  to  do. 

Frederick  felt  disposed  to  answer : 

"  Don't  annoy  yourself  about  it.    I  will  pay." 

But  the  lady  knew  how  to  lie.  Experience  had 
enlightened  him.  He  confined  himself  to  mere  ex- 
pressions of  sympathy. 

Rosanette's  fears  were  not  unfounded.  It  was  nec- 
essary to  give  up  the  furniture  and  to  quit  the  hand- 
some apartment  in  the  Rue  Drouot.  She  took  another 
on  the  Boulevard  Poissonniere,  on  the  fourth  floor. 

The  curiosities  of  her  old  boudoir  were  quite  suf- 
ficient to  give  to  the  three  rooms  a  coquettish  air. 
There  were  Chinese  blinds,  a  tent  on  the  terrace,  and 
in  the  drawing-room  a  second-hand  carpet  still  per- 
fectly new,  with  ottomans  covered  with  pink  silk. 
Frederick  had  contributed  largely  to  these  purchases. 
He  had  felt  the  joy  of  a  newly-married  man  who  pos- 
sesses at  last  a  house  of  his  own,  a  wife  of  his  own — 
and,  being  much  pleased  with  the  place,  he  slept  there 
nearly  every  evening. 

One  morning,  as  he  was  passing  out  through  the 
ante-room,  he  saw,  on  the  third  floor,  on  the  stair- 


case,  the  shako  of  a  National  Guard  who  was  as- 
cending it.  Where  in  the  world  was  he  going? 

Frederick  waited.  The  man  continued  his  prog- 
ress up  the  stairs,  with  his  head  slightly  bent.  He 
raised  his  eyes.  It  was  my  lord  Arnoux ! 

The  situation  was  obvious.  They  both  reddened 
simultaneously,  overcome  by  a  feeling  of  embarrass- 
ment common  to  both. 

Arnoux  was  the  first  to  find  a  way  out  of  the  diffi- 

"  She  is  better — is  she  not?"  as  if  Rosanette  were 
ill,  and  he  had  come  to  inquire  how  she  was. 

Frederick  took  advantage  of  this  opening. 

"  Yes,  certainly !  at  least,  so  I  was  told  by  her 
maid,"  wishing  to  convey  that  he  had  not  been  al- 
lowed to  see  her. 

Then  they  stood  facing  each  other,  both  unde- 
cided as  to  what  to  do  next,  and  eyeing  each  other 
intently.  The  question  now  was,  which  of  the  two 
would  remain.  Arnoux  once  more  solved  the  prob- 

"  Pshaw !  I'll  come  back  later.  Where  are  you  go- 
ing ?  I  will  go  with  you !  " 

And,  when  they  were  in  the  street,  he  chatted  as 
naturally  as  usual.  Unquestionably  he  was  not  a  man 
of  jealous  disposition,  or  else  he  was  too  good-natured 
to  get  angry.  Besides,  his  time  was  devoted  to  serv- 
ing his  country.  He  was  never  out  of  his  uniform 
now.  On  the  twenty-ninth  of  March  he  had  defended 
the  offices  of  the  Presse.  When  the  Chamber  was  in- 
vaded, he  distinguished  himself  by  his  courage,  and 
he  was  at  the  banquet  given  to  the  National  Guard 
at  Amiens. 

Hussonnet,  who  was  still  on  duty  with  him,  availed 
himself  of  his  flask  and  his  cigars;  but,  irreverent  by 


nature,  he  delighted  in  contradicting  him,  disparaging 
the  somewhat  inaccurate  style  of  the  decrees ;  and  de- 
crying the  conferences  at  the  Luxembourg,  the  women 
known  as  the  "  Vesuviennes,"  the  political  section 
bearing  the  name  of  '"  Tyroliens  " ;  everything,  in  fact, 
down  to  the  Car  of  Agriculture,  drawn  by  horses  to 
the  ox-market,  and  escorted  by  ill-favoured  young 
girls.  Arnoux,  on  the  other  hand,  upheld  authority, 
and  dreamed  of  uniting  the  different  parties.  How- 
ever, his  own  affairs  had  taken  an  unfavourable  turn, 
and  he  was  more  or  less  troubled  about  them. 

He  was  not  disturbed  about  Fredrick's  relations 
with  the  Marechale ;  for  this  disocvery  made  him 
feel  justified  (in  his  conscience)  in  withdrawing  the 
allowance  which  he  had  renewed  since  the  Prince  had 
left  her.  He  pleaded  by  way  of  excuse  for  this  step 
the  embarrassed  condition  in  which  he  found  himself, 
uttered  many  lamentations — and  Rosanette  was  gen- 
erous. The  result  was  that  M.  Arnoux  regarded  him- 
self as  the  lover  who  appealed  entirely  to  the  heart, 
an  idea  that  raised  him  in  his  own  estimation  and 
made  him  feel  young  again.  Having  no  doubt  that 
Frederick  was  paying  the  Marechale,  he  flattered  him- 
self that  he  was  "  playing  a  nice  trick  "  on"  the  young 
man.  He  called  at  the  house  in  such  a  stealthy  fash- 
ion as  to  keep  the  other  in  ignorance  of  the  fact,  and 
when  they  happened  to  meet,  left  the  coast  clear  for 

Frederick  was  not  pleased  with  this  partnership, 
and  his  rival's  politeness  seemed  only  an  elaborate  piece 
of  sarcasm.  But  by  taking  offence  at  it,  he  would 
have  removed  every  opportunity  of  ever  finding  his 
way  back  to  Madame  Arnoux;  and  then,  this  was 
the  only  means  whereby  he  could  hear  about  her  move- 
ments. The  earthenware-dealer,  in  accordance  with 


his  usual  practice,  or  perhaps  with  some  cunning  de- 
sign, mentioned  her  readily  in  the  course  of  conver- 
sation, and  asked  him  why  he  no  longer  came  to  see 

Frederick,  having  exhausted  every  excuse  he  could 
think  of,  assured  him  that  he  had  called  several  times 
to  see  Madame  Arnoux,  but  without  success.  Ar- 
noux  believed  this,  for  he  had  often  referred  in  an 
eager  tone  at  home  to  the  absence  of  their  friend,  and 
she  had  invariably  replied  that  she  was  out  when  he 
called,  so  that  these  two  lies,  in  place  of  contradict- 
ing, corroborated  each  other. 

The  young  man's  gentle  ways  and  the  pleasure  of 
finding  a  dupe  in  him  made  Arnoux  like  him  all  the 
better.  He  carried  familiarity  to  its  extreme  limits, 
not  through  disdain,  but  through  assurance.  One  day 
he  wrote  saying  that  urgent  business  compelled  him 
to  be  away  in  the  country  for  twenty-four  hours.  He 
begged  of  the  young  man  to  mount  guard  in  his  stead. 
Frederick  dared  not  refuse,  so  he  repaired  to  the 
guard-house  in  the  Place  du  Carrousel. 

He  had  to  put  up  with  the  society  of  the  National 
Guards,  and,  with  the  exception  of  a  sugar-refiner, 
a  witty  fellow  who  drank  to  an  inordinate  extent, 
they  all  appeared  to  him  more  stupid  than  their  car- 
tridge-boxes. The  principal  subject  of  conversation 
amongst  them  was  the  'substitution  of  sashes  for  belts. 
Others  declaimed  against  the  national  work-shops. 

One  man  said : 

"What  is  this  leading  to?" 

The  man  to  whom  the  words  had  been  addressed 
opened  his  eyes  as  if  he  were  on  the  verge  of  an  abyss. 

"  Where  are  we  going  ?  " 

Then,  one  who  was  more  daring  than  the  rest  ex- 
claimed : 


"  It  cannot  last !    It  must  come  to  an  end  !  " 

And  as  similar  talk  went  on  till  night,  Frederick 
was  bored  to  death. 

Great  was  his  surprise  when,  at  eleven  o'clock,  he 
suddenly  beheld  Arnoux,  who  explained  that  he  had 
hurried  back  to  set  him  at  liberty,  having  disposed  of 
his  business. 

The  fact  was  that  he  had  no  business  to  transact. 
The  whole  thing  was  made  up  to  enable  him  to  spend 
twenty-four  hours  alone  with  Rosanette.  But  the 
worthy  Arnoux  had  placed  too  much  confidence  in 
his  own  powers,  so  that,  now  in  the  state  of  lassitude 
which  was  the  result,  he  was  seized  with  remorse.  He 
had  come  to  thank  Frederick,  and  to  invite  him  to 

"  A  thousand  thanks !  I'm  not  hungry.  All  I  want 
is  to  go  to  bed." 

"  A  reason  the  more  for  having  a  snack  together. 
How  flabby  you  are !  One  does  not  go  home  at  such 
an  hour  as  this.  It  is  too  late!  It  would  be  dan- 
gerous !  " 

Frederick  once  more  yielded.  Arnoux  was  quite  a 
favourite  with  his  brethren-in-arms,  who  had  not  ex- 
pected to  see  him — and  he  was  a  particular  crony  of 
the  refiner.  They  all  liked  him,  and  he  was  such  a 
good  fellow  that  he  was  sorry  Hussonnet  was  not 
there.  But  he  wanted  to  shut -his  eyes  for  one  min- 
ute, no  longer. 

"  Sit  down  beside  me ! "  said  he  to  Frederick, 
stretching  himself  on  the  camp-bed  without  removing 
his  belt  and  straps.  Through  fear  of  an  alarm,  in 
spite  of  the  regulation,  he  even  kept  his  gun  in  his 
hand.  He  stammered  out  some  words: 

"  My  darling !  my  little  angel !  "  and  ere  long  was 
fast  asleep. 


Those  who  had  been  conversing  became  silent ;  and 
gradually  there  was  a  deep  silence  in  the  guard-house. 
Frederick,  tormented  by  the  fleas,  kept  staring  about 
him.  The  wall,  painted  yellow,  had,  half-way  up,  a 
long  shelf,  on  which  the  knapsacks  formed  a  suc- 
cession of  little  humps,  while  underneath,  the  lead- 
coloured  muskets  rose  up  side  by  side ;  and  there  could 
be  heard  a  succession  of  snores,  produced  by  the  Na- 
tional Guards,  whose  stomachs  were  outlined  through 
the  darkness  in  a  confused  fashion.  On  the  top  of 
the  stove  stood  an  empty  bottle  and  some  plates. 
Three  straw  chairs  were  ranged  around  the  table,  on 
which  a  pack  of  cards  was  displayed.  A  drum,  in  the 
middle  of  the  bench,  had  its  strap  hanging  down. 

A  warm  breath  of  air  making  its  way  through  the 
door  caused  the  lamp  to  smoke.  Arnoux  slept  with 
his  two  arms  wide  apart ;  and,  as  his  gun  was  in  a 
slightly  crooked  position,  with  the  butt-end  downward, 
the  mouth  of  the  barrel  came  up  right  under  his  arm. 
Frederick  noticed  this,  and  was  alarmed. 

"  But,  no,  it's  impossible,  there's  nothing  to  be 
afraid  of !  And  yet,  suppose  he  met  his  death !  " 

And  immediately  pictures  unrolled  themselves  be- 
fore his  mind  in  endless  succession. 

He  saw  himself  with  her  at  night  in  a  post-chaise, 
then  on  a  river's  bank  on  a  summer's  evening,  and 
again,  under  the  reflection  of  a  lamp  at  home  in  their 
own  house.  He  even  thought  of  household  expenses 
and  domestic  arrangements,  contemplating,  feeling  al- 
ready his  happiness  between  his  hands ;  and  in  order 
to  realise  it,  all  that  was  needed  was  that  the  cock  of 
the  gun  should  rise.  The  end  of  it  could  be  pushed 
with  one's  toe,  the  gun  would  go  off — it  would  be  a 
mere  accident — nothing  more ! 

Frederick  brooded  over  this  idea  like  a  playwright 


in  the  agonies  of  composition.  Suddenly  it  seemed 
to  him  that  it  was  about  to  be  carried  into  practical 
operation,  and  that  he  was  going  to  contribute  to  that 
result — that,  in  fact,  he  was  yearning  for  it;  and  then 
a  feeling  of  absolute  terror  took  possession  of  him. 
In  the  midst  of  this  mental  distress  he  experienced 
a  sense  of  pleasure,  and  he  allowed  himself  to  sink 
deeper  and  deeper  into  it,  with  a  dreadful  conscious- 
ness all  the  time  that  his  scruples  were  weakening.  In 
the  wildness  of  his  reverie  the  rest  of  the  world  be- 
come effaced,  and  he  only  realised  that  he  was  still 
alive  by  the  intolerable  oppression  on  his  chest. 

"  Let  us  take  a  drop  of  white  wine !  "  said  the  re- 
finer, as  he  awoke. 

Arnoux  sprang  to  his  feet,  and,  as  soon  as  the  white 
wine  was  swallowed,  he  offered  to  relieve  Frederick  of 
his  sentry  duty. 

Then  he  took  him  to  breakfast  in  the  Rue  de 
Chartres,  at  Parly's,  and  as  he  required  to  recuperate 
his  energies,  he  ordered  two  dishes  of  meat,  a  lobster, 
an  omelet  with  rum,  a  salad,  etc.,  and  finished  this 
off  with  a  brand  of  Sauterne  of  1819  and  one  of  '42 
Romance,  not  to  speak  of  the  champagne  at  dessert 
and  the  liqueurs. 

Frederick  did  not  in  any  way  gainsay  him.  He 
was  disturbed  in  mind  as  if  by  the  thought  that  the 
other  might  somehow  detect  on  his  countenance  the 
idea  that  had  lately  flitted  before  his  imagination. 
With  both  elbows  on  the  table  and  his  head  bent  for- 
ward, so  that  Frederick  felt  annoyed  by  his  fixed  stare, 
he  confided  some  of  his  hobbies  to  the  young  man. 

He  wanted  to  obtain  for  farming  purposes  all  the 
embankments  on  the  Northern  line,  in  order  to  plant 
potatoes  there,  or  else  to  organise  on  the  boulevards 
a  monster  cavalcade  in  which  the  celebrities  of  the 


period  would  figure.  He  would  let  all  the  windows, 
which  would,  at  the  rate  of  three  francs  for  each  per- 
son, produce  a  handsome  profit.  In  short,  he  dreamed 
of  making  a  great  fortune  by  means  of  a  monopoly. 
He  assumed  a  moral  tone,  nevertheless,  found  fault 
with  excesses  and  all  sorts  of  misconduct,  spoke  about 
his  "  poor  father,"  and  every  evening,  as  he  said,  made 
an  examination  of  his  conscience  before  offering  his 
soul  to  God. 

"  A  little  curacao,  eh  ?  " 

"  Just  as  you  please." 

As  for  the  Republic,  things  would  adjust  them- 
selves ;  in  fact,  he  considered  himself  the  happiest  man 
on  earth ;  and  forgetting  himself,  he  exalted  Rosa- 
nette's  attractive  qualities,  and  even  compared  her 
with  his  wife.  It  was  quite  a  different  thing,  of 
course.  You  could  not  imagine  a  lovelier  person ! 

"  Your  health !  " 

Frederick  touched  glasses  with  him.  He  had,  out 
of  complaisance,  drunk  a  little  too  much.  Besides, 
the  strong  sunlight  dazzled  him ;  and  when  they 
walked  up  the  Rue  Vivienne  together  again,  their 
shoulders  touched  in  a  fraternal  fashion. 

When  he  got  home,  Frederick  slept  till  seven 
o'clock.  Then  he  called  on  the  Marechale.  She  was 
out  with  somebody — with  Arnoux,  perhaps !  Not 
knowing  what  to  do  with  himself,  he  continued  his 
promenade  along  the  boulevard,  but  could  not  pass 
the  Porte  Saint-Martin,  owing  to  the  immense  crowd 
that  blocked  the  way. 

Want  had  abandoned  to  their  own  resources  a  con- 
siderable number  of  workmen,  and  they  came  there 
every  evening,  no  doubt  for  the  purpose  of  holding 
a  review  and  awaiting  a  signal. 

In  spite  of  the  law  against  riotous  assemblies,  these 


clubs  of  despair  increased  to  a  frightful  extent.  Many 
citizens  repaired  every  day  to  the  spot  through  bra- 
vado, and  because  it  was  the  fashion. 

All  of  a  sudden  Frederick  caught  a  glimpse,  three 
paces  away,  of  M.  Dambreuse  along  with  Martinon. 
He  turned  his  head  away,  for  on  account  of  M.  Dam- 
breuse having  got  himself  nominated  as  a  representa- 
tive of  the  people,  he  cherished  a  secret  spite  against 
him.  But  the  capitalist  stopped  him. 

"  One  word,  my  dear  Monsieur !  I  have  some  ex- 
planations to  make  to  you." 

"  I  am  not  asking  for  any." 

"  Pray  listen  to  me !  " 

It  was  not  his  fault  in  any  way.  Appeals  haa  been 
made  to  him ;  pressure  had,  to  a  'certain  extent,  been 
placed  on  him.  Martinon  immediately  endorsed  all 
that  he  said.  Some  of  the  electors  of  Nogent  had  pre- 
sented themselves  in  a  deputation  at  his  house. 

"  Besides,  I  expected  to  be  free  as  soon  as — 

A  crush  of  people  on  the  footpath  forced  M.  Dam- 
breuse to  get  out  of  the  way.  A  minute  after  he  re- 
gained his  place,  saying  to  Martinon: 

"  This  is  a  genuine  service,  really,  and  you  won't 
have  any  reason  to  regret " 

All  three  stood  with  their  backs  against  a  shop  in 
order  to  be  able  to  chat  more  at  their  ease. 

From  time  to  time  there  was  a  cry  of,  "  Long  live 
Napoleon  !  Long  live  Barbes !  Down  with  Marie !  " 

The  countless  throng  kept  talking  very  loudly ;  and 
all  these  voices,  echoing  through  the  houses,  made 
so  to  speak,  the  continuous  ripple  of  waves  in  a  har- 
bour. At  intervals  they  ceased;  and  then  could  be 
heard  voices  singing  the  Marseillaise. 

Under  the  court-gates,  men  of  mysterious  appear- 
ance offered  sword-sticks  to  those  who  passed.  Some- 


times  two  individuals,  one  of  whom  preceded  the 
other,  would  wink,  and  then  quickly  hurry  away.  The 
footpaths  were  filled  with  groups  of  staring  idlers.  A 
dense  crowd  swayed  to  and  fro  on  the  pavement.  En- 
tire bands  of  police-officers,  emerging  from  the  alleys, 
had  scarcely  made  their  way  into  the  midst  of  the 
multitude  when  they  were  swallowed  up  in  the  mass 
of  people.  Little  red  flags  here  and  there  looked  like 
flames.  Coachmen,  from  their  high  seats,  gesticulated 
energetically,  and  then  turned  to  go  back.  It  was  a 
scene  of  perpetual  movement — one  of  the  strangest 
sights  that  could  be  conceived. 

"  How  all  this,"  said  Martinon,  "  would  have 
amused  Mademoiselle  Cecile !  " 

"  My  wife,  as  you  know,  does  not  like  my  niece  to 
come  with  us,"  returned  M.  Dambreuse  with  a  smile. 

One  could  scarcely  recognise  in  him  the  same  man. 
For  the  past  three  months  he  had  been  crying,  "  Long 
live  the  Republic !  "  and  he  had  even  voted  in  favour 
of  the  banishment  of  Orleans.  But  there  should  be 
an  end  of  concessions.  He  exhibited  his  indignation 
so  far  as  to  carry  a  tomahawk  in  his  pocket. 

Martinon  had  one,  too.  The  magistracy  not  being 
any  longer  irremovable,  he  had  withdrawn  from  Par- 
quet, so  that  he  surpassed  M.  Dambreuse  in  his  dis- 
play of  violence. 

The  banker  had  a  special  antipathy  to  Lamartine 
(for  having  supported  Ledru-Rollin)  and,  at  the  same 
time,  to  Pierre  Leroux,  Proudhon,  Considerant,  La- 
mennais,  and  all  the  cranks,  all  the  Socialists. 

"  For,  in  fact,  what  is  it  they  want  ?  The  duty  on 
meat  and  arrest  for  debt  have  been  abolished.  Now 
the  project  of  a  bank  for  mortgages  is  under  consid- 
eration ;  the  other  day  it  was  a  national  bank ;  and 
there  are  five  millions  in  the  Budget  for  the  working- 


men !     But  luckily,  it  is  over,  thanks  to  Monsieur  de 
Falloux  !    Good-bye  to  them  !  let  them  go !  " 

Not  knowing  how  to  maintain  the  three  hundred 
thousand  men  in  the  national  workshops,  the  Minis- 
ter of  Public  Works  had  that  very  day  signed  an 
order  inviting  all  citizens  between  the  ages  of  eighteen 
and  twenty  to  take  service  as  soldiers,  or  else  to  go  to 
the  provinces  and  cultivate  the  ground  there. 

They  were  indignant  at  the  alternative  thus  put  be- 
fore them,  convinced  that  the  object  was  to  destroy 
the  Republic.  They  were  aggrieved  at  having  to  live 
at  a  distance  from  the  capital,  as  if  it  were  a  kind  of 
exile.  They  pictured  themselves  dying  of  fevers  in 
desolate  parts  of  the  country.  To  many  of  them,  more- 
over, who  had  been  accustomed  to  work  of  a  refined 
description,  agriculture  seemed  a  degradation ;  it  was, 
in  short,  a  mockery,  a  decisive  breach  of  all  the  prom- 
ises which  had  been  made  to  them.  If  they  offered 
any  resistance,  force  would  be  employed  against  them. 
They  had  no  doubt  of  this,  and  made  preparations  to 
anticipate  it. 

About  nine  o'clock  the  riotous  assemblies  which 
had  gathered  at  the  Bastille  and  at  the  Chatelet  ebbed 
back  toward  the  boulevard.  From  the  Porte  Saint- 
Denis  to  the  Porte  Saint-Martin  nothing  could  be  dis- 
cerned save  an  enormous  swarm  of  people,  a  single 
mass  of  a  dark  blue  shade,  nearly  black.  The  men 
of  whom  one  caught  a  glimpse  all  had  glowing  eyes, 
pale  complexions,  faces  emaciated  with  hunger  and 
excited  with  a  sense  of  injustice. 

Meanwhile  clouds  had  gathered.  The  tempestuous 
sky  roused  the  electricity  that  was  in  the  people,  and 
they  kept  whirling  about  of  their  own  accord  with 
the  great  swaying  movements  of  a  swelling  sea,  and 
one  felt  that  there  was  an  incalculable  force  in  the 


depths  of  this  excited  throng,  and  as  it  were,  the  en- 
ergy of  an  element.  Then  they  all  began  shouting: 
"  Lamps !  lamps !  "  Many  windows  had  no  illumina- 
tion, and  stones  were  flung  at  the  panes.  M.  Dam- 
breuse  deemed  it  prudent  to  withdraw  from  the  scene. 
The  two  young  men  accompanied  him  home.  He  pre- 
dicted great  disasters.  The  people  might  once  more 
invade  the  Chamber,  and  he  told  them  how  he  should 
have  been  killed  on  the  fifteenth  of  May  had  it  not 
been  for  the  devotion  of  a  National  Guard. 

"  But  I  had  forgotten !  he  is  a  friend  of  yours — the 
earthenware  manufacturer — Jacques  Arnoux !  "  The 
rioters  had  been  actually  throttling  him,  when  that 
brave  citizen  caught  him  in  his  arms  and  dragged  him 
out  of  their  reach. 

Since  then,  there  had  been  a  kind  of  intimacy  be- 
tween them. 

"  One  of  these  days  they  would  dine  together,  and, 
since  you  often  see  him,  give  him  the  assurance  that 
I  like  him  very  much.  He  is  an  excellent  man,  and 
has,  in  my  opinion,  been  slandered ;  and  he  has  his  wits 
about  him  in  the  morning.  My  compliments  once 
more  !  A  very  good  evening !  " 

Frederick,  after  he  had  left  M.  Dambreuse,  went 
back  to  the  Marechale,  and  in  a  very  gloomy  fashion, 
said  that  she  could  choose  between  him  and  Arnoux. 
She  replied  that  she  did  not  understand  "  dumps  of 
this  sort,"  that  she  did  not  care  about  Arnoux,  and 
had  no  desire  to  be  with  ihm.  Frederick  was  thirst- 
ing to  fly  from  Paris.  She  offered  no  opposition  to 
this  whim ;  and  next  morning  they  set  out  for  Fon- 

The  hotel  at  which  they  stayed  could  be  distin- 
guished from  others  by  a  fountain  that  rippled  in  the 
middle  of  the  courtyard  attached  to  it.  The  doors  of 


the  various  apartments  opened  out  on  a  corridor,  as 
in  monasteries.  The  room  assigned  to  them  was  large, 
well-furnished,  hung  with  print,  and  noiseless,  owing 
to  the  scarcity  of  tourists.  Alongside  the  houses,  peo- 
ple who  had  nothing  to  do  passed  up  and  down  ;  then, 
under  their  windows,  at  the  close  of  the  day,  children 
in  the  street  would  engage  in  a  game  of  base.  This 
tranquillity,  following  so  soon  the  tumult  they  had 
witnessed  in  Paris,  filled  them  with  astonishment  and 
exercised  over  them  a  soothing  influence. 

Every  morning  at  an  early  hour,  they  paid  a  visit 
to  the  Chateau.  As  they  passed  in  through  the  gate, 
they  had  a  view  of  its  entire  front,  with  the  five  pa- 
vilions covered  with  sharp-pointed  roofs,  and  its  stair- 
case of  horseshoe-shape  opening  into  the  end  of  the 
courtyard,  which  is  hemmed  in,  to  right  and  left,  by 
two  main  portions  of  the  building  further  down.  On 
the  paved  ground  lichens  blended  their  colours  here 
and  there  with  the  tawny  hue  of  bricks,  and  the  en- 
tire appearance  of  the  palace,  rust-coloured  like  old 
armour,  had  about  it  something  of  the  impassive- 
ness  of  royalty — a  sort  of  warlike,  melancholy  gran- 

At  last,  a  man-servant  would  make  his  appearance 
with  a  bunch  of  keys.  He  first  showed  them  the 
apartments  of  the  queens,  the  Pope's  oratory,  the  gal- 
lery of  Francis  I,  the  mahogany  table  on  which  the 
Emperor  signed  his  abdication,  and  in  one  of  the 
rooms  cut  in  two  the  old  Galerie  des  Cerfs,  the  place 
where  Christine  got  Monaldeschi  assassinated.  Rosa- 
nette  listened  to  this  narrative  attentively,  then,  turn- 
ing toward  Frederick : 

"  No  doubt  it  was  through  jealousy !  Mind  your- 
self !  "  After  this  they  passed  through  the  Council 
Chamber,  the  Guards'  Room,  the  Throne  Room,  and 


the  drawing-room  of  Louis  XIII.  The  uncurtained 
windows  admitted  a  white  light.  The  handles  of  the 
window- fastenings  and  the  copper  feet  of  the  pier- 
tables  were  slightly  tarnished  with  dust.  The  arm- 
chairs were  covered  with  coarse  linen  covers.  Above 
the  doors  could  be  seen  reliquaries  of  Louis  XIV,  and 
here  and  there  hangings  representing  the  gods  of 
Olympus,  Psyche,  or  the  battles  of  Alexander. 

As  she  was  passing  in  front  of  the  mirrors,  Rosa- 
nette  stopped  for  a  moment  to  smooth  her  head-bands. 

After  going  through  the  donjon-court  and  the  Saint- 
Saturnin  Chapel,  they  reached  the  Festal  Hall. 

They  were  dazzled  by  the  magnificence  of  the  ceil- 
ing, which  was  divided  into  octagonal  sections  set  off 
with  gold  and  silver,  more  finely  chiselled  than  a  jewel, 
and  by  the  vast  number  of  paintings  covering  the 
wralls,  from  the  immense  chimney-piece,  where  the 
arms  of  France  were  surrounded  by  crescents  and 
quivers,  down  to  the  musicians'  gallery,  which  had 
been  erected  at  the  other  end  along  the  entire  width 
of  the  hall.  The  ten  arched  windows  were  wide  open ; 
the  sun  threw  its  lustre  on  the  pictures,  so  that  they 
glowed  beneath  its  rays ;  the  blue  sky  continued  in  an 
endless  curve  the  ultramarine  of  the  arches ;  and  from 
the  depths  of  the  woods,  where  the  lofty  summits  of 
the  trees  filled  up  the  horizon,  there  seemed  to  come 
an  echo  of  flourishes  from  ivory  trumpets,  and  myth- 
ological ballets,  together  under  the  foliage  princesses 
and  nobles  disguised  as  nymphs  or  fauns — an  epoch 
of  ingenuous  science,  of  violent  passions,  and  sumptu- 
ous art,  \vhen  the  ideal  was  to  eliminate  the  world  in 
a  vision  of  the  Hesperides,  and  when  the  mistresses 
of  kings  mingled  their  glory  with  the  stars.  There 
was  a  portrait  of  one  of  the  most  beautiful  of  these 
celebrated  women  in  the  form  of  Diana  the  hunt- 


ress,  and  even  as  the  Infernal  Diana,  on  doubt  in 
order  to  indicate  the  power  which  she  wielded  even  be- 
yond the  limits  of  the  tomb.  All  these  symbols  con- 
firmed her  glory,  and  there  hovered  about  the  spot 
something  of  her,  an  indistinct  voice,  a  radiation  that 
stretched  out  indefinitely.  A  feeling  of  mysterious 
retrospective  voluptuousness  took  possession  of  Fred- 

In  order  to  divert  these  passionate  longings  into 
another  channel,  he  gazed  tenderly  on  Rosanette,  and 
asked  her  would  she  not  like  to  have  been  this  woman  ? 

"  What  woman?  " 

"  Diane  de  Poitiers  !  " 

He  repeated : 

"  Diane  de  Poitiers,  mistress  of  Henry  the  Second." 

She  gave  utterance  to  a  little  "  Ah !  "  that  was  all. 

Her  silence  demonstrated  that  she  knew  nothing 
about  the  matter,  and  did  not  comprehend  his  mean- 
ing, so  that  out  of  complaisance  he  said  to  her: 

"  Perhaps  you  are  getting  tired  of  this  ?  " 

"  No,  no — quite  the  reverse."  And  lifting  up  her 
chin,  and  casting  around  her  a  vague  glance,  Rosa- 
nette said : 

"  It  recalls  some  memories  to  me !  " 

Meanwhile,  it  was  easy  to  trace  on  her  counte- 
nance a  strained  expression,  a  certain  sense  of  awe; 
and,  as  this  air  of  gravity  made  her  look  all  the  pret- 
tier, Frederick  enjoyed  it. 

The  carps'  pond  amused  her  more.  For  a  quarter 
of  an  hour  she  kept  flinging  pieces  of  bread  into  the 
water  in  order  to  see  the  fishes  jumping  about. 

Frederick  had  seated  himself  by  her  side  under  the 
linden-trees.  He  saw  in  imagination  all  the  person- 
ages who  had  haunted  these  walls — Charles  V,  the 
Valois  kings,  Henry  IV,  Peter  the  Great,  Jean 


Jacques  Rousseau,  and  "  the  fair  mourners  of  the 
stage-boxes,"  Voltaire,  Napoleon,  Pius  VII,  and 
Louis  Philippe;  and  he  felt  himself  surrounded,  el- 
bowed, by  these  tumultuous  dead  people.  He  was 
stunned  by  such  a  confusion  of  historic  figures,  even 
though  he  found  a  certain  fascination  in  contem- 
plating them,  nevertheless. 

Presently  they  descended  into  the  flower-garden. 

It  is  a  vast  rectangle,  which  presents  to  the  spec- 
tator, at  the  first  glance,  its  wide  yellow  walks,  its 
square  grass-plots,  its  ribbons  of  box-wood,  its  yew- 
trees  shaped  like  pyramids,  its  low-lying  greenswards, 
and  its  narrow  borders,  in  which  thinly-sown  flowers 
edge  the  grey  soil.  At  the  end  of  the  garden  may 
be  seen  a  park  through  whose  entire  length  a  canal 
makes  its  way. 

Royal  residences  have  connected  with  them  a  pecu- 
liar kind  of  melancholy,  due,  no  doubt,  to  their  dimen- 
sions being  much  too  large  for  the  limited  number  of 
guests  entertained  within  them,  to  the  silence  which 
one  feels  astonished  to  find  in  them  after  so  many 
flourishes  of  trumpets,  to  the  immobility  of  their  lux- 
urious furniture,  which  symbolises  by  its  age  and  de- 
cay the  transitory  character  of  dynasties,  the  eternal 
wretchedness  of  all  things ;  and  this  exhalation  of  the 
centuries,  enervating  and  funereal,  like  the  perfume 
of  a  mummy,  impresses  even  untutored  brains.  Rosa- 
nette  yawned  immoderately.  They  went  back  to  the 

After  breakfast  an  open  carriage  came  round  for 
them.  They  set  out  from  Fontainebleau  at  a  point 
where  several  roads  diverged,  then  ascended  at  a  walk- 
ing pace  a  gravelly  road  leading  toward  a  little  pine- 
wood.  The  trees  became  larger,  and,  from  time  to 
time,  the  driver  would  say,  "  This  is  the  Freres  Sia- 


mois,  the  Pharamond,  the  Bouquet  de  Roi,"  not  for- 
getting- a  single  one  of  these  notable  sites,  sometimes 
even  drawing  up  to  enable  them  to  admire  the  view. 

They  entered  the  forest  of  Franchard.  The  car- 
riage glided  over  the  grass  like  a  sledge ;  pigeons 
which  were  not  in  sight  began  cooing.  Suddenly,  the 
waiter  of  a  cafe  made  his  appearance,  and  they  alighted 
before  the  railing  of  a  garden  in  which  a  number  of 
round  tables  were  placed.  Then,  passing  on  the  left 
by  the  walls  of  a  ruined  abbey,  they  made  their  way 
over  big  boulders  of  stone  and  soon  reached  the 
lower  part  of  the  gorge. 

It  is  covered  on  one  side  with  sandstones  and  juni- 
per-trees tangled  together,  while  on  the  other  side 
the  ground,  almost  bare,  inclines  toward  the  hollow  of 
the  valley,  where  a  foot-track  makes  a  pale  line 
through  the  brown  heather;  and  far  above  could  be 
distinguished  a  flat  cone-shaped  summit  with  a  tele- 
graph-tower behind  it. 

Half  an  hour  later  they  stepped  out  of  the  vehicle 
once  more,  to  climb  the  heights  of  Aspremont. 

The  roads  form  zigzags  between  the  thick-set  pine- 
trees  under  rocks  with  angular  faces.  All  this  cor- 
ner of  the  forest  has  a  sort  of  choked-up  look — a  wild 
and  solitary  aspect.  One  is  reminded  of  hermits — 
companions  of  huge  stags  with  fiery  crosses  between 
their  horns,  who  were  wont  to  welcome  with  paternal 
smiles  the  good  kings  of  France  when  they  knelt  be- 
fore their  grottoes.  The  warm  air  was  filled  with  a 
resinous  odour,  and  roots  of  trees  crossed  one  another 
like  veins  close  to  the  soil.  Rosanette  stumbled  over 
them,  grew  dejected,  and  felt  inclined  to  shed  tears. 

But,  at  the  very  top,  she  became  joyous  once  more 
on  finding,  under  a  roof  made  of  branches,  a  sort  of 
tavern  where  carved  wood  was  sold.  She  drank  a  bot- 


tie  of  lemonade,  and  bought  a  holly-stick;  and,  with- 
out one  glance  toward  the  landscape  which  disclosed 
itself  from  the  plateau,  she  entered  the  Brigands'  Cave, 
with  a  waiter  carrying  a  torch  in  front  of  her.  Their 
carriage  awaited  them  in  the  Bas  Breau. 

A  painter  in  a  blue  blouse  was  working  at  the  foot 
of  an  oak-tree  with  his  box  of  colours  on  his  knees. 
He  raised  his  head  and  watched  them  as  they  passed. 

In  the  middle  of  the  hill  of  Chailly,  the  sudden 
breaking  of  a  cloud  necessitated  the  turning  up  of  the 
hoods  of  their  cloaks.  Almost  immediately  the  rain 
stopped,  and  the  paving-stones  of  the  street  glistened 
under  the  sun  as  they  reentered  the  town. 

Some  travellers,  who  had  recently  arrived,  informed 
them  that  a  terrible  battle  had  stained  Paris  with 
blood.  Rosanette  and  her  lover  were  not  surprised. 
Then  everybody  left;  the  hotel  became  quiet,  the  gas 
was  put  out,  and  they  were  lulled  to  sleep  by  the 
murmur  of  the  fountain  in  the  courtyard. 

On  the  following  day  they  went  to  see  the  Wolf's 
Gorge,  the  Fairies'  Pool,  the  Long  Rock,  and  the 
Marlottc.  Two  days  later,  they  began  driving  again 
at  random,  just  where  their  coachman  thought  fit  to 
take  them,  without  asking  where  they  were,  and  often 
even  neglecting  the  famous  sites. 

They  felt  so  comfortable  in  their  old  landau,  low 
as  a  sofa,  and  covered  with  a  rug  made  of  a  striped 
material  which  was  quite  faded.  The  moats,  filled 
with  brushwood,  stretched  out  under  their  eyes  with 
a  gentle,  continuous  movement.  White  rays  gleamed 
like  arrows  through  the  tall  ferns.  Sometimes  a  road 
no  longer  in  use  presented  itself  before  them,  in  a 
straight  line,  and  here  and  there  might  be  seen  a 
feeble  growth  of  weeds.  In  the  centre  between  four 
cross-roads,  a  crucifix  extended  its  four  arms.  In 


other  places,  stakes  were  bending  down  like  dead 
trees,  and  little  curved  paths,  which  were  hidden  under 
the  leaves,  made  them  feel  a  longing  to  pursue  them. 
At  the  same  moment  the  horse  turned  round ;  they 
entered  there;  they  plunged  into  the  mire.  Further 
down  moss  had  sprouted  out  at  the  sides  of  the  deep 

They  believed  that  they  were  far  away  from  every- 
body, quite  alone.  But  suddenly  a  game-keeper  with 
his  gun,  or  a  band  of  ragged  women,  with  big  bun- 
dles of  faggots  strapped  on  their  backs,  would  hurry 
past  them. 

When  the  carriage  stopped,  there  was  a  universal 
silence.  The  only  sounds  were  the  blowing  of  the 
horse  in  the  shafts  or  the  faint  cry  of  a  bird  more 
than  once  repeated. 

The  light  at  certain  points  illuminating  the  out- 
skirts of  the  wood,  left  the  interior  in  deep  shadow, 
or  else,  attenuated  in  the  foreground  by  a  sort  of  twi- 
light, it  exhibited  in  the  background  violet  vapours,  a 
white  radiance.  The  midday  sun,  falling  directly  on 
wide  tracts  of  greenery,  made  splashes  of  light  over 
them,  hung  gleaming  drops  of  silver  from  the  ends 
of  the  branches,  streaked  the  grass  with  long  lines  of 
emeralds,  and  flung  golden  spots  on  the  beds  of  dead 
leaves.  Looking  upward,  they  could  distinguish  the 
sky  through  the  tops  of  the  trees.  Some  of  them, 
which  were  enormously  high,  looked  like  patriarchs 
or  emperors,  or,  touching  one  another  at  their  ex- 
tremities formed  with  their  long  shafts,  as  it  were, 
triumphal  arches;  others  springing  forth  obliquely 
from  below,  seemed  like  falling  columns.  This  heap 
of  big  vertical  lines  gaped  open.  Then,  enormous 
green  billows  unrolled  themselves  in  unequal  emboss- 
ments as  far  as  the  surface  of  the  valleys,  toward 


which  advanced  the  brows  of  other  hills  looking  down 
on  white  plains,  which  finally  lost  themselves  in  an 
undefined  pale  tinge. 

Standing  side  by  side,  on  some  rising  ground,  they 
felt,  as  they  drank  in  the  air,  the  pride  of  a  fuller  life 
penetrating  into  the  depths  of  their  souls,  with  a  sup- 
erabundance of  energy,  a  joy  which  they  could  not 

The  variety  of  trees  furnished  a  spectacle  of  the 
most  diversified  character.  The  smooth,  white-barked 
beeches  twisted  their  tops  together.  Ash  trees  softly 
curved  their  bluish  branches.  In  the  tufts  of  the 
hornbeams  rose  up  holly  stiff  as  bronze.  Then  came 
a  row  of  thin  birches,  bent  into  elegiac  attitudes;  and 
the  pine-trees,  symmetrical  as  organ  pipes,  seemed  to 
be  singing  as  they  swayed  to  and  fro.  There  were  gi- 
gantic oaks  with  knotted  forms,  which  had  been  vio- 
lently shaken,  stretched  out  from  the  soil  and  pressed 
close  against  each  other,  and  with  firm  trunks  re- 
sembling torsos,  launched  forth  to  heaven  despairing 
appeals  with  their  bare  arms  and  furious  threats,  like 
a  group  of  Titans  struck  rigid  in  the  midst  of  their 
rage.  An  atmosphere  of  gloom,  a  feverish  languor, 
brooded  over  the  pools,  whose  sheets  of  water  were 
cut  into  flakes  by  the  overshadowing  thorn-trees.  The 
lichens  on  their  banks,  where  the  wolves  come  to 
drink,  are  of  the  colour  of  sulphur,  burnt,  as  it  were, 
by  the  footprints  of  witches,  and  the  incessant  croak- 
ing of  the  frogs  responds  to  the  cawing  of  the  crows 
as  they  wheel  through  the  air.  Then  they  passed 
through  the  monotonous  glades  planted  here  and 
there  with  a  staddle.  The  sound  of  iron  falling  with 
a  succession  of  rapid  blows  could  be  heard.  On  the 
side  of  the  hill  a  group  of  quarrymen  were  breaking 
the  rocks.  These  rocks  became  more  and  more  nu- 


merous  and  finally  filled  up  the  entire  landscape,  cube- 
shaped  like  houses,  flat  like  flag-stones,  propping  up, 
overhanging,  and  becoming  intermingled  with  each 
other,  as  if  they  were  the  ruins,  unrecognisable  and 
monstrous,  of  some  vanished  city.  But  this  wild  chaos 
reminded  one  rather  of  volcanoes,  of  deluges,  of  great 
unknown  cataclysms.  Frederick  said  they  had  been 
there  since  the  beginning  of  the  world,  and  would  re- 
main so  till  the  end.  Rosanette  turned  aside  her  head, 
declaring  that  it  would  drive  her  out  of  her  mind,  and 
went  off  to  collect  sweet  heather.  The  little  violet 
blossoms,  heaped  up  near  one  another,  formed  un- 
equal surfaces,  and  the  soil,  which  was  giving  way 
underneath,  formed  soft  dark  fringes  on  the  sand 
spangled  with  mica. 

One  day  they  reached  a  point  half-way  up  a  hill, 
where  the  soil  was  full  of  sand.  Its  surface,  untrod- 
den till  now,  was  streaked,  and  resembled  symmetrical 
waves.  Here  and  there,  like  promontories  on  the  dry 
bed  of  an  ocean,  rose  up  rocks  with  the  vague  out- 
lines of  animals,  tortoises  thrusting  forward  their 
heads,  crawling  seals,  hippopotami,  and  bears.  Not 
a  soul  near  them.  Not  a  single  sound.  The  shingle 
glowed  under  the  dazzling  rays  of  the  sun,  and  all  at 
once  in  this  vibration  of  light  these  specimens  of  the 
brute  creation  began  to  move  before  their  eyes.  They 
returned  home  quickly,  flying  from  the  dizziness  that 
had  seized  hold  of  them,  almost  dismayed  at  their  own 

The  gravity  of  the  forest  influenced  them,  and 
hours  passed  in  silence,  during  which,  allowing  them- 
selves to  yield  to  the  lulling  effects  of  springs,  they 
remained  as  it  were  sunk  in  the  torpor  of  a  calm  in- 
toxication. With  his  arm  around  her  waist,  he  listened 
to  her  talking  while  the  birds  were  warbling,  noticed 


with  the  same  glance  the  black  grapes  on  her  bonnet 
and  the  juniper-berries,  the  draperies  of  her  veil,  and 
the  spiral  forms  assumed  by  the  clouds,  and  when  he 
bent  toward  her  the  freshness  of  her  skin  blended 
with  the  strong  perfume  of  the  woods.  Everything 
amused  them.  They  showed  one  another,  as  a  curi- 
osity, gossamer  threads  of  the  Virgin  hanging  from 
bushes,  holes  full  of  water  in  the  middle  of  stones,  a 
squirrel  on  the  branches,  the  way  in  which  two  but- 
terflies kept  following  them ;  or  else,  at  twenty  paces 
from  them,  under  the  trees,  a  hind  strode  on  peace- 
fully, with  an  air  of  nobility  and  gentleness,  its  doe 
walking  by  its  side. 

Rosanette  would  have  liked  to  run  after  it  to  em- 
brace it.  .  ' 

She  got  very  much  alarmed  once,  when  a  man,  sud- 
denly presenting  himself,  showed  her  three  vipers  in 
a  box.  She  wildly  flung  herself  on  Frederick's  breast. 
He  felt  happy  at  the  thought  that  she  was  weak  and 
that  he  was  strong  enough  to  protect  her. 

One  evening  they  dined  at  an  inn  on  the  banks  of 
the  Seine.  The  table  was  near  the  window ;  Rosa- 
nette sat  opposite  him,  and  he  contemplated  her  little 
well-shaped  white  nose,  her  turned-up  lips,  her  bright 
eyes,  the  swelling  bands  of  her  nut-brown  hair,  and 
her  pretty  oval  face.  Her  dress  of  raw  silk  clung  to 
her  somewhat  drooping  shoulders,  and  her  two  hands, 
emerging  from  their  sleeves,  joined  close  together  as 
if  they  were  one — carved,  poured  out  wine,  moved 
over  the  table-cloth.  The  waiter  placed  before  them 
a  chicken  with  its  four  limbs  stretched  out,  a  stew  of 
eels  in  a  dish  of  pipe-clay,  wine  that  had  got  spoiled, 
bread  that  was  too  hard,  and  knives  with  notches  in 
them.  All  these  things  made  the  repast  more  enjoy- 
able and  heightened  the  illusion.  They  fancied  them- 


selves  in  the  middle  of  a  journey  in  Italy  on  their 
honeymoon.  Before  starting  again  they  went  for  a 
walk  along  the  bank  of  the  river. 

The  soft  blue  dome-like  sky,  touched  at  the  horizon 
on  the  indentations  of  the  woods.  On  the  opposite 
side,  at  the  end  of  the  meadow,  was  a  village  steeple ; 
and  further  away,  to  the  left,  the  roof  of  a  house  made 
a  red  splash  on  the  river,  which  wound  its  way  with- 
out any  apparent  motion.  Some  rushes  bent  over  it, 
and  the  water  lightly  shook  some  poles  fixed  at  its 
edge  in  order  to  hold  nets.  An  osier  bow-net  and 
two  or  three  old  fishing-boats  were  to  be  seen.  Near 
the  inn  a  girl  in  a  straw  hat  was  drawing  buckets  out 
of  a  well.  Every  time  they  came  up,  Frederick  heard 
the  grating  sound  of  the  chain  with  a  feeling  of  in- 
expressible delight. 

He  had  no  doubt  that  he  would  be  happy  till  the 
end  of  his  days,  so  natural  did  his  felicity  appear  to 
him,  so  much  a  part  of  his  life,  and  so  intimately  as- 
sociated with  this  woman's  being.  He  was  irresist- 
ibly impelled  to  address  her  with  words  of  endear- 
ment. She  answered  with  pretty  little  speeches,  gentle 
taps  on  the  shoulder,  displays  of  tenderness  that 
charmed  him  by  their  unexpectedness.  He  discovered 
in  her  quite  a  new  sort  of  beauty,  which,  perhaps,  was 
only  the  reflection  of  surrounding  things,  unless  in- 
deed it  happened  to  bud  forth  from  hidden  poten- 

Sometimes  they  lay  down  in  the  middle  of  the 
field,  and  he  would  stretch  himself  out  with  his  head 
on  her  lap,  under  the  shelter  of  her  parasol ;  or  else 
with  their  faces  turned  toward  the  greensward,  in  the 
centre  of  which  they  rested,  they  gazed,  toward  each 
other  till  their  pupils  seemed  to  intermingle,  thirst- 
ing for  each  other  and  ever  satiating  their  thirst,  and 


then  with  half-closed  eyelids  they  lay  side  by  side 
without  uttering  a  single  word. 

Xow  and  then  the  distant  rolling  of  a  drum  reached 
their  ears.  It  was  the  signal-drum  which  was  being 
beaten  in  the  different  villages  calling  on  people  to  go 
to  the  defence  of  Paris. 

"  Oh !  'tis  the  rising !  "  said  Frederick,  with  a  dis- 
dainful pity,  all  this  excitement  now  presenting  to  his 
mind  a  pitiful  aspect  by  comparison  with  their  love  and 
eternal  nature. 

And  they  talked  about  whatever  happened  to  come 
into  their  heads,  things  that  were  perfectly  familiar  to 
them,  persons  in  whom  they  took  no  interest,  a  thou- 
sand trifles.  She  chatted  about  her  chambermaid  and 
her  hairdresser.  One  day  she  was  so  self-forgetful 
that  she  told  him  her  age — twenty-nine  years.  She 
was  becoming  quite  an  old  woman. 

Several  times,  almost  unconsciously,  she  gave  him 
some  particulars  with  reference  to  her  own  life.  She 
had  been  a  "  shop  girl,"  had  taken  a  trip  to  England, 
and  had  begun  studying  for  the  stage ;  all  this  she 
told  without  any  explanation  of  how  these  changes 
had  come  about ;  and  he  found  it  impossible  to  recon- 
struct her  entire  history. 

She  related  still  more  about  herself  one  day  when 
they  were  seated  side  by  side  under  a  plane-tree  at 
the  back  of  a  meadow.  At  the  road-side,  further 
down,  a  little  barefooted  girl,  standing  amid  a  heap 
of  dust,  was  driving  a  cow  to  pasture.  As  soon  as 
she  caught  sight  of  them  she  came  up  to  beg,  and 
while  with  one  hand  she  held  up  her  tattered  petti- 
coat, she  kept  scratching  with  the  other  her  black 
hair,  which,  like  a  wig  of  Louis  XIV's  time,  curled 
round  her  dark  face,  lighted  by  a  magnificent  pair 
of  eves. 


"  She  will  be  very  pretty  later,"  said  Frederick. 

"  How  lucky  she  is  if  she  has  no  mother !  "  re- 
marked Rosanette. 

"Eh?    How  is  that?" 

"  Certainly.     I,  if  it  were  not  for  mine " 

She  sighed,  and  began  to  talk  about  her  childhood. 
Her  parents  were  weavers  in  the  Croix  Rousse.  She 
acted  as  an  apprentice  to  her  father.  In  vain  did  the 
poor  man  wear  himself  out  with  hard  work;  his  wife 
was  continually  abusing  him,  and  sold  everything  for 
drink.  Rosanette  could  see,  as  if  it  were  yesterday, 
the  room  they  occupied,  with  the  looms  ranged  length- 
wise against  the  windows,  the  pot  boiling  on  the 
stove,  the  bed  painted  to  represent  mahogany,  a  cup- 
board facing  it,  and  the  obscure  loft  where  she  used 
to  sleep  up  to  the  time  when  she  was  fifteen  years  old. 
A  length  a  gentleman  made  his  appearance  on  the 
scene — a  fat  man  with  a  face  the  colour  of  boxwood, 
the  manners  of  a  devotee,  and  a  suit  of  black  clothes. 
Her  mother  and  this  man  had  a  conversation  to- 
gether, with  the  result  that  three  days  afterward — 
Rosanette  stopped,  and  with  a  look  in  which  there  was 
as  much  bitterness  as  shamelessness : 

"  It  was  done !  " 

Then,  in  response  to  a  gesture  of  Frederick: 

"  As  he  was  married  (he  would  have  been  afraid 
of  compromising  himself  in  his  own  house),  I  was 
brought  to  a  private  room  in  a  restaurant,  and  told 
that  I  would  be  very  happy,  and  would  get  a  hand- 
some present. 

"At  the  door,  the  first  thing  that  struck  me  was 
a  candelabrum  of  vermilion  on  a  table,  on  which 
there  were  two  covers.  A  mirror  on  the  ceiling  re- 
flected them,  and  the  blue  silk  hangings  on  the  walls 
made  the  entire  apartment  resemble  an  alcove ;  I  was 


overcome  with  astonishment.  You  understand — a 
poor  creature  who  had  never  seen  anything  before. 
In  spite  of  my  dazed  condition  of  mind,  I  got  fright- 
ened. I  wanted  to  go  away.  However,  I  remained. 

"  The  only  seat  in  the  room  was  a  sofa  close  be- 
side the  table.  It  was  so  soft  that  it  yielded  under  me. 
The  mouth  of  the  hot-air  stove  in  the  middle  of  the 
carpet  emitted  toward  me  a  warm  breath,  and  there  I 
sat  without  taking  anything.  The  waiter,  who  was 
standing  near  me,  urged  me  to  eat.  He  poured  out 
for  me  a  large  glass  of  wine.  My  head  began  to 
swim,  I  wanted  to  open  the  window.  He  said  to  me: 

"  '  No,   Mademoiselle  !  that  is  forbidden.'  " 

"  And  he  left  me. 

''  The  table  was  laden  with  a  heap  of  things  that  I 
had  no  knowledge  of.  Nothing  there  seemed  to  me 
good.  Then  I  fell  back  on  a  pot  of  jam,  and  patiently 
waited.  I  did  not  know  what  prevented  him  from 
coming.  It  was  very  late — midnight  at  last — I 
couldn't  bear  the  fatigue  any  longer.  While  pushing 
aside  one  of  the  pillows,  in  order  to  hear  better,  I 
found  under  my  hand  a  kind  of  album — a  book  of  en- 
gravings, they  were  vulgar  pictures.  I  was  asleep 
on  top  of  it  when  he  entered  the  room." 

She  hung  down  her  head  and  remained  pensive. 

The  leaves  rustled  around  them.  Amid  the  tangled 
grass  a  great  foxglove  swayed  to  and  fro.  The  sun- 
light swept  like  a  wave  over  the  green  expanse,  and 
the  silence  was  interrupted  at  intervals  only  by  the 
browsing  of  the  cow,  which  they  could  no  longer  see. 

Rosanette  kept  her  eyes  fixed  on  a  particular  spot, 
three  paces  away  from  her,  her  nostrils  heaving,  and 
her  mind  absorbed  in  thought.  Frederick  caught  hold 
of  her  hand. 

"  How  you  suffered,  poor  darling ! " 


"  Yes,"  said  she,  "  more  than  you  imagine !  So 
much  so  that  I  tried  to  make  an  end  of  it — they  had 
to  fish  me  up !  " 


"  Ah !  think  no  more  about  it !  I  love  you,  I  am 
happy  !  kiss  me  !  " 

And  she  picked  off,  one  by  one,  the  sprigs  of  the 
thistles  which  clung  to  her  gown. 

Frederick  was  thinking  more  than  all  on  what  she 
had  not  told  him.  By  what  means  had  she  gradually 
emerged  from  wretchedness?  To  what  lover  did  she 
owe  her  education?  What  had  occurred  in  her  life 
down  to  the  day  when  he  first  came  to  her  house? 
Her  latest  avowal  was  a  bar  to  these  questions.  All 
he  asked  her  was  how  she  had  made  Arnoux's  ac- 

"  Through  the  Vatnaz." 

"  Wasn't  it  you  that  I  once  saw  with  both  of  them 
at  the  Palais-Royal  ?  " 

He  mentioned  the  exact  date.  Rosanette  made  a 
movement  which  showed  a  sense  of  deep  pain. 

"  Yes,  it  is  true !     I  was  not  gay  at  that  time !  " 

But  Arnoux  had  proved  himself  a  very  good  fel- 
low. Frederick  had  no  doubt  of  it.  However,  their 
friend  was  a  queer  character,  full  of  faults.  He  took 
care  to  recall  them  all.  She  quite  agreed  with  him 
on  this  point. 

"  Never  mind !  One  likes  him,  all  the  same,  this 
camel !  " 

"  Still — even  now  ?  "  said  Frederick. 

She  reddened,  half  smiling,  half  angry. 

"  Oh,  no !  that's  an  old  story.  I  don't  keep  any- 
thing hidden  from  you.  Even  though  it  might  be  so, 
with  him  it  is  different.  Besides,  I  don't  think  you 
are  nice  toward  your  victim !  " 


"  My  victim  !  " 

Rosanette  caught  hold  of  his  chin. 

"  No  doubt !  " 

And  in  the  lisping  fashion  in  which  nurses  talk  to 
babies : 

"  Have  always  been  so  good !  Never  went  a-by- 
by  with  his  wife?  " 

"  I !  never  at  any  time !  " 

Rosanette  smiled.  He  felt  hurt  by  that  smile  of  hers, 
which  seemed  to  him  an  evidence  of  indifference. 

But  she  went  on  gently,  and  with  one  of  those  looks 
which  seem  to  appeal  for  a  denial  of  the  truth: 

"  Are  you  perfectly  certain  ?  " 

"  Not  a  doubt  abo'ut  it !  " 

Frederick  solemnly  declared  on  his  word  of  honour 
that  he  had  never  bestowed  a  thought  on  Madame 
Arnoux,  as  he  was  far  too  much  in  love  with  another 

"  With  whom,  pray?" 

"  Why,  with  you,  my  beautiful  one !  " 

"  Ah  !  don't  laugh  at  me !     You  only  annoy  me  !  " 

He  thought  it  a  prudent  course  to  invent  a  story 
— to  pretend  that  he  was  swayed  by  a  passion.  He 
made  up  some  circumstantial  details.  This  woman, 
however,  had  rendered  him  very  unhappy. 

"  Decidedly,  you  have  not  been  lucky,"  said  Rosa- 

"  Oh !  oh !  I  may  have  been !  "  wishing  to  convey 
that  he  had  been  often  fortunate  in  his  love-affairs, 
so  that  she  might  have  a  better  opinion  of  him,  just 
as  Rosanette  did  not  confess  how  many  lovers  she  had 
had,  in  order  that  he  might  have  more  respect  for  her 
— for  there  will  always  be  found  in  the  midst  of  the 
most  intimate  confidences  restrictions,  false  shame, 
delicacy,  and  pity.  You  divine  either  in  the  other  or 


in  yourself  precipices  or  miry  paths  which  deter  you 
from  penetrating  any  farther ;  moreover,  you  feel  that 
you  will  not  be  understood.  It  is  difficult  to  express 
accurately  the  thing  you  mean,  whatever  it  may  be; 
and  this  is  the  reason  why  perfect  unions  are  rare. 

The  poor  Marechale  had  never  known  one  better 
than  this.  Often,  when  she  gazed  at  Frederick,  tears 
came  into  her  eyes ;  then  she  would  raise  them  or 
cast  a  glance  toward  the  horizon,  as  if  she  saw  there 
some  bright  dawn,  perspectives  of  boundless  felicity. 
At  last,  she  confessed  one  day  to  him  that  she  would 
like  to  have  a  mass  said,  "  so  that  it  might  bring  a 
blessing  on  our  love." 

How  was  it,  then,  that  she  had  resisted  him  so 
long?  She  could  not  tell  herself.  He  repeated  his 
question  a  great  many  times;  and  she  replied,  as  she 
clasped  him  in  her  arms : 

"  It  was  because  I  was  afraid,  my  darling,  of  lov- 
ing you  too  well !  " 

On  Sunday  morning,  Frederick  read,  amongst  the 
list  of  the  wounded  in  the  newspaper,  the  name  of 
Dussardier.  He  uttered  a  cry,  and  showing  the  paper 
to  Rosanette,  declared  that  he  would  start  at  once  for 

"For  what  purpose?" 

"  In  order  to  see  him,  to  nurse  him ! " 

"  You  are  not  going,  I'm  sure,  to  leave  me  by  my- 

"  Come  with  me !  " 

"  Ha !  to  poke  my  nose  in  a  squabble  of  that  sort  ? 
Oh,  no,  thanks !  " 

"  However,  I  cannot " 

"  Ta !  ta !  ta !  as  if  they  had  need  of  nurses  in  the 
hospitals !  And  then,  what  concern  is  he  of  yours 
now  ?  Everyone  for  himself !  " 


He  was  roused  to  indignation  by  this  egoism  on  her 
part,  and  he  reproached  himself  for  not  being  in  Paris 
with  the  others.  Such  indifference  to  the  misfortunes 
of  the  nation  had  in  it  something  shabby,  and  only 
worthy  of  a  small  shopkeeper.  And  now,  all  of  a  sud- 
den, his  intrigue  with  Rosanette  weighed  on  his  mind 
as  if  it  were  a  crime.  For  an  hour  they  were  quite 
cool  toward  each  other. 

Then  she  implored  him  to  wait,  and  not  expose  him- 
self to  danger. 

"  Suppose  you  happen  to  be  killed?" 

"  Well,  I  should  only  have  done  my  duty !  " 

Rosanette  gave  a  jump.  His  first  duty  was  to  love 
her ;  but  perhaps  he  did  not  care  about  her  any  longer. 
There  was  no  common  sense  in  what  he  was  going  to 
do.  Good  heavens !  what  an  idea ! 

Frederick  rang  for  his  bill.  But  to  return  to  Paris 
was  no  easy  matter.  The  Leloir  stage-coach  had  just 
left ;  the  Lecomte  berlins  would  not  be  starting ;  the 
diligence  from  Bourbonnais  would  not  be  passing  till 
a  late  hour  that  night,  and  perhaps  it  might  be  full, 
one  could  never  tell.  When  he  had  lost  a  great  deal 
of  time  in  making  inquiries  about  the  various  modes  of 
conveyance,  the  idea  occurred  to  him  to  travel  post. 
The  master  of  the  post-house  refused  to  supply  him 
with  horses,  as  Frederick  had  no  passport.  Finally, 
he  hired  an  open  carriage — the  same  one  in  which  they 
had  driven  about  the  country — and  at  about  five  o'clock 
they  reached  the  Hotel  du  Commerce  at  Melun. 

The  market-place  was  covered  with  piles  of  arms. 
The  prefect  had  forbidden  the  National  Guards  to 
proceed  toward  Paris.  Those  who  did  not  belong  to 
his  department  wished  to  go  on.  There  was  a  great 
deal  of  shouting,  and  the  inn  was  packed  with  a  noisy 


Rosanette,  terrified,  said  she  would  not  go  a  step 
further,  and  once  more  begged  of  him  to  stay.  The 
innkeeper  and  his  wife  joined  in  her  entreaties.  A 
decent  sort  of  man  who  happened  to  be  dining  there 
interposed,  and  said  that  the  fighting  would  be 
over  in  a  very  short  time.  Besides,  each  man  ought 
to  do  his  duty.  Thereupon  the  Marechale  redoubled 
her  sobs.  Frederick  got  exasperated.  He  handed  her 
his  purse,  kissed  her  quickly,  and  disappeared. 

On  reaching  Corbeil,  he  learned  at  the  station  that 
the  insurgents  had  cut  the  rails  at  regular  distances, 
and  the  coachman  refused  to  drive  him  any  farther; 
he  said  that  his  horses  were  "  overspent." 

Frederick  managed  to  procure  an  indifferent  cabrio- 
let, which,  for  the  sum  of  sixty  francs,  without  taking 
into  account  the  price  of  a  drink  for  the  driver,  was  to 
convey  him  as  far  as  the  Italian  barrier.  But  at  a 
hundred  paces  from  the  barrier  his  coachman  made 
him  descend  and  turn  back.  Frederick  was  walking 
along  the  pathway,  when  suddenly  a  sentinel  thrust 
out  his  bayonet.  Four  men  seized  him,  exclaiming: 

"  This  is  one  of  them !  Look  out !  Search  him  ! 
Brigand  !  scoundrel !  " 

And  he  was  so  thoroughly  stunned  that  he  let  him- 
self be  dragged  to  the  guard-house  of  the  barrier,  at 
the  very  point  where  the  Boulevards  des  Gobelins  and 
de  1'Hopital  and  Rues  Godefroy  and  Mauffetard  con- 

Four  barricades  formed  at  the  ends  of  four  differ- 
eiit  ways  enormous  sloping  ramparts  of  paving-stones. 
Torches  glimmered  here  and  there.  In  spite  of  the 
rising  clouds  of  dust  he  could  distinguish  foot-soldiers 
of  the  Line  and  National  Guards,  all  with  their  faces 
blackened,  their  chests  uncovered,  and  an  appearance 
of  wild  excitement.  They  had  just  captured  the 


square,  and  had  shot  down  a  number  of  men.  Their 
rage  had  not  yet  cooled.  Frederick  said  he  had  come 
from  Fontainebleau  to  the  relief  of  a  wounded  com- 
rade who  lodged  in  the  Rue  Bellefond.  Not  one  of 
them  would  believe  him  at  first.  They  examined  his 
hands ;  they  even  put  their  noses  to  his  ear  to  make 
sure  that  he  did  not  smell  of  powder. 

However,  by  dint  of  repeating  the  same  thing,  he 
finally  convinced  a  captain,  who  directed  two  fusiliers 
to  conduct  him  to  the  guard-house  of  the  Jardin  des 
Plantes.  They  descended  the  Boulevard  de  1'Hopital. 
A  strong  breeze  was  blowing.  It  restored  him  to 

After  this  they  turned  up  the  Rue  du  Marche  aux 
Chevaux.  The  Jardin  des  Plantes  at  the  right  formed 
a  long  black  mass,  whilst  at  the  left  the  entire  front 
of  the  Pitie,  illuminated  at  every  window,  blazed  like 
a  conflagration,  and  shadows  passed  rapidly  across 
the  window-panes. 

Two  of  the  men  in  charge  of  Frederick  left  him. 
Another  accompanied  him  to  the  Polytechnic  School. 
The  Rue  Saint- Victor  was  quite  dark,  without  a  gas- 
lamp  or  a  light  at  any  window  to  relieve  the  gloom. 
Every  ten  minutes  could  be  heard  the  words: 

"  Sentinels !  mind  yourselves !  " 

And  this  exclamation,  cast  into  the  midst  of  the 
silence,  was  prolonged  like  the  repeated  striking  of  a 
stone  against  the  side  of  a  chasm  as  it  falls  through 

Every  now  and  then  the  stamp  of  heavy  footsteps 
could  be  heard  coming  nearer.  This  was  nothing  less 
than  a  patrol  consisting  of  about  a  hundred  men. 
From  this  confused  mass  escaped  whisperings  and 
the  dull  clanking  of  iron ;  and,  moving  along  with 
a  rhythmic  swing,  it  melted  into  the  darkness. 


In  the  middle  of  the  crossing,  where  several  streets 
met,  a  dragoon  sat  motionless  on  his  horse.  Occa- 
sionally an  express  rider  passed  at  a  rapid  gallop; 
then  the  silence  was  renewed.  Cannons,  which  were 
being  drawn  along  the  streets,  made,  on  the  pavement, 
a  heavy  rolling  sound  that  seemed  full  of  menace — a 
sound  different  from  every  ordinary  sound — which 
oppressed  the  heart.  These  interruptions  served  to 
intensify  the  silence,  which  was  profound,  unlimited — 
a  black  abyss.  Men  in  white  blouses  accosted  the  sol- 
diers, spoke  one  or  two  words  to  them,  and  then 
vanished  like  phantoms. 

The  guard-house  of  the  Polytechnic  School  was 
crowded.  The  threshold  was  blocked  up  with  women, 
who  had  come  to  see  their  sons  or  their  husbands. 
They  were  sent  on  to  the  Pantheon,  which  was  being 
utilised  as  a  dead-house ;  and  no  attention  was  paid 
to  Frederick.  He  pressed  forward  resolutely,  sol- 
emnly declaring  that  his  friend  Dussardier  was  wait- 
ing for  him,  that  he  was  at  death's  door.  At  last  they 
sent  a  corporal  to  accompany  him  to  the  top  of  the 
Rue  Saint- Jacques,  to  the  Mayor's  office  in  the  twelfth 

The  Place  du  Pantheon  was  filled  with  soldiers  ly- 
ing asleep  on  straw.  The  day  was  breaking;  the 
bivouac-fires  were  extinguished. 

The  insurrection  had  left  terrible  traces  in  this  quar- 
ter. The  soil  of  the  streets,  from  end  to  end,  was 
covered  with  piles  of  various  sizes.  On  the  wrecked 
barricades  had  been  piled  up  omnibuses,  gas-pipes, 
and  cart-wheels.  In  certain  places  there  were  little 
dark  pools,  which  must  have  been  blood.  The  houses 
were  riddled  with  projectiles,  and  their  framework 
could  be  seen  under  the  plaster  that  was  peeled  off. 
Window-blinds,  attached  by  a  single  nail,  hung  like 


rags.  The  staircases  having  fallen  in,  doors  opened 
on  vacancy.  The  interiors  of  rooms  could  be  seen  with 
their  papers  in  strips.  In  some  instances  dainty  ob- 
jects had  remained  quite  intact.  Frederick  noticed  a 
timepiece,  a  parrot-stick,  and  some  engravings. 

When  he  entered  the  Mayor's  office,  the  National 
Guards  were  chattering  without  a  moment's  pause 
about  the  deaths  of  Brea  and  Negrier,  about  the 
Deputy  Charbonnel,  and  about  the  Archbishop  of 
Paris.  He  heard  them  saying  that  the  Due  d'Aumale 
had  landed  at  Boulogne,  that  Barbes  had  fled  from 
Vincennes,  that  the  artillery  were  due  from  Bourges, 
and  that  abundant  aid  was  arriving  from  the  provinces. 
About  three  o'clock  some  one  brought  good  news. 

Truce-bearers  from  the  insurgents  were  in  confer- 
ence with  the  President  of  the  Assembly. 

Thereupon  they  all  made  merry;  and  as  he  had  a 
dozen  francs  left,  Frederick  sent  for  a  dozen  bottles 
of  wine,  hoping  in  this  way  to  hasten  his  deliverance. 
Suddenly  a  discharge  of  musketry  was  heard.  The 
drinking  stopped.  The  men  peered  with  distrustful 
eyes  into  the  unknown — it  might  be  Henry  V. 

In  order  to  shift  responsibility,  they  took  Frederick 
to  the  Mayor's  office  in  the  eleventh  arrondissement, 
which  he  was  not  permitted  to  leave  till  nine  o'clock 
in  the  morning. 

He  started  at  a  running  pace  from  the  Quai  Vol- 
taire. At  an  open  window  an  old  man  in  his  shirt- 
sleeves was  crying,  with  his  eyes  raised.  The  Seine 
glided  peacefully  along.  The  sky  was  of  a  clear  blue ; 
and  in  the  trees  round  the  Tuileries  birds  were  singing. 

Frederick  was  just  crossing  the  Place  du  Carrousel 
when  a  litter  happened  to  pass  by.  The  soldiers  at 
the  guard-house  immediately  presented  arms;  and  the 
officer,  putting  his  hand  to  his  shako,  said :  "  Honour 


to  unfortunate  bravery !  "  This  phrase  seemed  to  have 
almost  become  a  matter  of  duty.  He  who  pronounced 
it  appeared  to  be,  on  each  occasion,  filled  with  pro- 
found emotion.  A  group  of  people  in  a  state  of  fierce 
excitement  followed  the  litter,  exclaiming : 

"  We  will  avenge  you !  we  will  avenge  you !  " 

The  vehicles  kept  moving  about  on  the  boulevard, 
and  women  were  making  lint  before  the  doors.  Mean- 
while, the  outbreak  had  been  quelled,  or  very  nearly 
so.  A  proclamation  from  Cavaignac,  just  posted  up, 
announced  the  fact.  At  the  top  of  the  Rue  Vivienne, 
a  company  of  the  Garde  Mobile  appeared.  Then  the 
citizens  uttered  enthusiastic  shouts.  They  raised  their 
hats,  applauded,  danced,  wished  to  embrace  them,  and 
to  invite  them  to  drink;  and  flowers,  flung  by  ladies, 
fell  from  the  balconies. 

At  last,  at  ten  o'clock,  just  at  the  moment  when  the 
booming  of  the  cannon  announced  that  an  attack  was 
being  made  on  the  Faubourg  Saint-Antoine,  Frederick 
reached  the  abode  of  Dussardier.  He  found  the  book- 
keeper in  his  garret,  lying  asleep  on  his  back.  From 
the  adjoining  apartment  a  woman  came  forth  with 
silent  tread — Mademoiselle  Vatnaz. 

She  led  Frederick  aside  and  told  him  how  Dussar- 
dier had  got  wounded. 

On  Saturday,  on  the  top  of  a  barricade  in  the  Rue 
Lafayette,  a  young  fellow  wrapped  in  a  tricoloured 
flag  cried  out  to  the  National  Guards :  "  Are  you  go- 
ing to  shoot  your  brothers  ? "  As  they  advanced 
Dussardier  flung  down  his  gun,  pushed  away  the 
others,  sprang  over  the  barricade,  and,  with  a  blow  of 
an  old  shoe,  knocked  down  the  insurgent,  from  whom 
he  tore  the  flag.  He  had  afterward  been  found  under 
a  heap  of  rubbish  with  a  slug  of  copper  in  his  thigh. 
It  was  found  necessary  to  make  an  incision  in  order 


to  extract  the  projectile.  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz  ar- 
rived the  same  evening,  and  since  then  had  not  left 
his  side. 

She  prepared  intelligently  everything  that  was 
needed  for  the  dressings,  assisted  him  in  taking  his 
medicine  or  other  liquids,  attended  to  his  slightest 
wishes,  left  and  returned  again  with  footsteps  lighter 
than  those  of  a  fly,  and  gazed  at  him  with  eyes  full  of 

Frederick,  during  the  two  following  weeks,  did  not 
fail  to  call  every  morning.  One  day,  while  he  was 
speaking  about  the  devotion  of  the  Vatnaz,  Dussar- 
dier  shrugged  his  shoulders : 

"'  Oh,  no !  she  does  this  through  interested  motives." 

"  Do  you  think  so  ?  " 

He  replied .  "  I  am  sure  of  it !  "  without  attempting 
to  give  any  further  explanation. 

She  had  loaded  him  with  kindnesses,  carrying  her 
attentions  so  far  as  to  bring  him  the  newspapers  in 
which  his  gallant  action  was  extolled.  He  confessed 
to  Frederick  that  he  felt  uneasy  in  his  conscience. 

Perhaps  he  ought  to  have  put  himself  on  the  other 
side  with  the  men  in  blouses ;  for,  indeed,  a  heap  of 
promises  had  been  made  to  them  which  had  not  been 
fulfilled.  Those  who  had  vanquished  them  hated  the 
Republic ;  and,  in  the  next  place,  they  had  treated 
them  very  harshly.  No  doubt  they  were  in  the  wrong 
— not  quite,  however;  and  the  honest  fellow  was  tor- 
mented by  the  thought  that  he  might  have  fought 
against  the  righteous  cause.  Senecal,  who  was  im- 
prisoned in  the  Tuileries,  under  the  terrace  at  the 
water's  edge,  suffered  none  of  this  mental  anguish. 

There  were  nine  hundred  men  in  the  place,  hud- 
dled together  in  the  midst  of  filth,  with  no  attempt  at 
order,  their  faces  blackened  with  powder  and  clotted 


blood,  shivering  with  ague  and  breaking  out  into  cries 
of  rage ;  those  who  were  brought  there  to  die  were  not 
separated  from  the  rest.  Sometimes,  on  hearing  the 
sound  of  a  detonation,  they  believed  that  they  were  all 
going  to  be  shot.  Then  they  dashed  themselves 
against  the  \valls,  and  after  that  fell  back  again  into 
their  places,  so  much  stupefied  by  suffering  that  it 
seemed  to  them  that  they  were  living  in  a  nightmare, 
an  awful  hallucination.  The  lamp,  suspended  from 
the  arched  roof,  looked  like  a  stain  of  blood,  and  little 
green  and  yellow  flames  fluttered  about,  caused  by  the 
emanations  from  the  vault.  Through  fear  of  epi- 
demics, a  commission  was  appointed.  When  he  had 
advanced  a  few  steps,  the  President  recoiled,  fright- 
ened by  the  stench  from  the  excrements  and  from  the 

As  soon  as  the  prisoners  drew  near  a  vent-hole, 
the  National  Guards  who  were  on  sentry,  in  order  to 
prevent  them  from  shaking  the  bars  of  the  grating, 
prodded  them  indiscriminately  with  their  bayonets. 

As  a  rule  they  showed  no  pity.  Those  who  were 
not  beaten  wished  to  signalise  themselves.  There  was 
a  regular  panic  of  fear.  They  avenged  themselves  at 
the  same  time  on  newspapers,  clubs,  mobs,  speech- 
making — everything  that  had  exasperated  them  during 
the  last  three  months,  and  in  spite  of  the  victory  that 
had  been  gained,  equality  (as  if  for  the  punishment 
of  its  defenders  and  the  exposure  of  its  enemies  to 
ridicule)  manifested  itself  in  a  triumphal  fashion — 
an  equality  of  brute  beasts,  a  dead  level  of  sangui- 
nary vileness ;  for  the  fascination  of  self-interest 
equalled  the  madness  of  want,  aristocracy  had  the  same 
fits  of  fury  as  low  debauchery,  and  the  cotton  cap  did 
not  show  itself  less  hideous  than  the  red  cap.  The 
public  mind  was  agitated  just  as  it  would  be  after 


great  convulsions  of  nature.  Sensible  men  were  ren- 
dered imbeciles  by  it  for  the  rest  of  their  lives. 

Pere  Roque  had  become  very  courageous,  almost 
foolhardy.  Having  arrived  on  the  26th  at  Paris  with 
some  of  the  inhabitants  of  Xogent,  instead  of  return- 
ing with  them,  he  had  offered  his  assistance  to  the  Na- 
tional Guard  encamped  at  the  Tuileries ;  and  he  was 
quite  satisfied  to  be  placed  on  sentry  in  front  of  the 
terrace  at  the  water's  side.  There,  at  any  rate,  he  had 
these  brigands  under  his  feet !  He  was  delighted  to 
see  them  beaten  and  humiliated,  and  he  could  not  re- 
frain from  uttering  invectives  against  them. 

One,  a  young  lad  with  long  fair  hair,  pressed  his 
face  to  the  bars,  and  asked  for  bread.  M.  Roque  or- 
dered him  to  hold  his  tongue.  But  the  young  man 
repeated  in  a  mournful  tone: 

"  Bread !  " 

"Have  I  any  to  give  you?" 

Other  prisoners  presented  themselves  at  the  vent- 
hole,  with  their  bristling  beards,  their  burning  eye- 
balls, all  pushing  forward,  and  yelling: 

"  Bread !  " 

Pere  Roque  was  indignant  at  seeing  his  authority 
slighted.  In  order  to  frighten  them  he  took  aim  at 
them ;  and,  borne  backward  into  the  vault  by  the  crush 
that  nearly  smothered  him,  the  young  man,  with  his 
eyes  staring  upward,  once  more  exclaimed: 

"  Bread !  " 

"  Hold  on !  here  it  is !  "  said  Pere  Roque,  firing  a 
shot  from  his  gun.  There  was  a  fearful  howl — then, 
silence.  At  the  side  of  the  trough  something  white 
could  be  seen  lying. 

After  this,  M.  Roque  returned  to  his  abode,  for  he 
had  a  house  in  the  Rue  Saint-Martin,  which  he  used 
as  a  temporary  residence;  and  the  injury  done  to  the 


front  of  the  building  during  the  riots  had  in  no  slight 
degree  contributed  to  his  rage.  It  seemed  to  him, 
when  he  next  looked  at  it,  that  he  had  exaggerated 
the  amount  of  damage.  His  recent  act  had  a  sooth- 
ing effect  on  him,  as  if  it  indemnified  him  for  his  loss. 

His  daughter  opened  the  door  for  him.  She  imme- 
diately made  the  remark  that  she  had  felt  uneasy  at 
his  excessively  prolonged  absence.  She  was  afraid 
that  he  had  met  with  some  misfortune. 

This  manifestation  of  filial  love  softened  Pere 
Roque.  He  was  astonished  that  she  should  have  set 
out  on  a  journey  without  Catherine. 

"  I  sent  her  out  on  a  message,"  was  Louise's  reply. 

And  she  inquired  about  his  health,  about  one  thing 
or  another ;  then,  with  an  air  of  indifference,  she  asked 
him  whether  he  had  come  across  Frederick: 

"  No ;  I  have  not  seen  him !  " 

It  was  on  his  account  alone  that  she  had  come  up 
from  the  country. 

Some  one  was  heard  walking  in  the  lobby. 

"  Oh  !  excuse  me " 

And  she  disappeared. 

Catherine  had  not  found  Frederick.  He  had  been 
several  days  away,  and  his  intimate  friend,  M.  Des- 
lauriers,  was  now  living  in  the  provinces. 

Louise  once  more  presented  herself,  trembling  all 
over,  unable  to  speak.  She  leaned  against  the  furniture. 

"  What's  the  matter  with  you  ?  Tell  me — what's 
the  matter  with  you  ?  "  exclaimed  her  father. 

She  indicated  by  a  wave  of  her  hand  that  it  was 
nothing,  and  with  a  great  effort  she  regained  her  com- 

The  keeper  of  the  restaurant  at  the  opposite  side 
of  the  street  brought  them  soup.  But  Pere  Roque 
had  passed  through  too  exciting  an  ordeal  to  be  able 


to  control  his  emotions.  "  He  is  not  likely  to  die ;  " 
and  at  dessert  he  had  a  sort  of  fainting  fit.  A  doctor 
came,  and  he  prescribed  a  potion.  Then,  when  M. 
Roque  was  in  bed,  he  was  well  wrapped  up  in  order 
to  bring  on  perspiration.  He  gasped ;  he  moaned. 

"  Thanks,  my  good  Catherine !  Kiss  your  poor 
father,  my  dear !  Ah  !  those  revolutions !  " 

And,  when  his  daughter  scolded  him  for  making 
himself  ill  by  worrying  over  her,  he  replied: 

"  Yes !  perhaps  so !  But  I  couldn't  help  it.  I  am 
verv  sensitive !  " 



MROQUE  described  the  severe  military  duties 
he  had  performed  to  Madame  Dambreuse,  in 
*  her  boudoir,  as  she  sat  between  her  niece  and 
Miss  John. 

She  was  biting  her  lips,  as  if  in  pain. 

"  Oh  !  'tis  nothing  !   it  will  pass  away !  " 

And,  with  a  gracious  air: 

"  We  are  going  to  have  an  acquaintance  of  yours 
to  dine  with  us — Monsieur  Moreau." 

Louise  gave  a  start. 

"  Oh !  we'll  just  have  a  few  intimate  friends  there 
— amongst  others,  Alfred  de  Cisy." 

And  she  spoke  in  terms  of  high  praise  about  his 
manners,  his  personal  appearance,  and  especially  his 
moral  character. 

Madame  Dambreuse  was  nearer  to  a  correct  esti- 
mate of  the  state  of  affairs  than  she  imagined;  the 
•Vicomte  was  contemplating  marriage.  He  said  so 
to  Martinon,  adding  that  Mademoiselle  Cecile  would 
surely  like  him,  and  that  her  parents  would  be  agree- 

To  justify  him  in  going  so  far  as  to  confide  to  an- 
other his  intentions  on  the  point,  he  required  satisfac- 
tory information  with  regard  to  her  dowry.  Now 
Martinon  suspected  that  Cecile  was  M.  Dambreuse's 
natural  daughter ;  and  it  is  probable  that  it  would  have 
been  a  very  daring  step  on  his  part  to  ask  for  her  hand 


at  any  risk.  Such  audacity,  of  course,  was  not  unac- 
companied by  danger;  and  for  this  reason  Martinon 
had,  so  far,  acted  in  a  way  that  could  not  compromise 
him.  Besides,  he  did  not  see  how  he  could  well  get 
rid  of  the  aunt.  Cisy's  confidence  induced  him  to 
make  up  his  mind ;  and  he  had  formally  made  his 
proposal  to  the  banker,  who,  seeing  no  objection  to 
it,  had  just  informed  Madame  Dambreuse  about  the 

Cisy  presently  made  his  appearance.  She  arose  and 
said : 

'"'  You  have  been  forgetting  us.  Cecile,  shake 
hands !  " 

At  the  same  moment  Frederick  entered  the  room. 

"  Ha !  at  last  we  have  found  you  again !  "  exclaimed 
Pere  Roque.  "  I  called  with  Cecile  on  you  three  times 
this  week !  " 

Frederick  had  carefully  avoided  them.  He  pleaded 
by  way  of  excuse  that  he  had  been  spending  all  his 
days  beside  a  wounded  comrade. 

For  a  long  time,  however,  a  heap  of  misfortunes 
had  happened  to  him,  and  he  tried  to  invent  stories 
to  explain  his  conduct.  Luckily  the  guests  arrived  in 
the  midst  of  his  explanation.  First  of  all  M.  Paul  de 
Gremonville,  the  diplomatist  whom  he  rnet  at  the  ball ; 
then  Fumichon,  that  manufacturer  whose  conservative 
zeal  had  scandalised  him  one  evening.  After  them 
came  the  old  Duchesse  de  Montreuil  Nantua. 

Two  loud  voices  in  the  anteroom  reached  his 
ears.  They  were  that  of  M.  de  Nonancourt,  an  old 
beau  with  the  air  of  a  mummy  preserved  in  cold 
cream,  and  that  of  Madame  de  Larsillois,  the  wife  of 
a  prefect  of  Louis  Philippe.  She  was  terribly  fright- 
ened, for  she  had  just  heard  an  organ  playing  a  polka 
which  was  known  to  be  a  signal  amongst  the  insur- 


gents.  Many  of  the  wealthy  class  of  citizens  had 
similar  apprehensions;  they  thought  that  men  in  the 
catacombs  were  going  to  blow  up  the  Faubourg  Saint- 
Germain.  Noises  escaped  from  cellars,  and  suspicious 
looking  things  were  passed  up  to  windows. 

Everyone  in  the  meantime  made  an  effort  to  calm 
Madame  de  Larsillois.  Order  was  reestablished. 
There  was  no  longer  cause  for  fear. 

"  Cavaignac  has  saved  us !  " 

As  if  the  horrors  of  the  insurrection  had  not  been 
sufficiently  numerous,  they  exaggerated  them.  There 
had  been  twenty-three  thousand  convicts  on  the  side 
of  the  Socialists — no  less ! 

They  were  certain  that  food  had  been  poisoned, 
that  Gardes  Mobiles  had  been  sawn  between  two 
planks,  and  that  there  had  been  inscriptions  on  flags  in- 
citing the  people  to  pillage  and  incendiarism. 

"  Aye,  and  more  than  that !  "  added  the  ex-prefect. 

"  Oh,  dear ! "  said  Madame  Dambreuse,  whose 
modesty  was  shocked,  while  she  indicated  the  three 
young  girls  with  a  glance. 

M.  Dambreuse  came  forth  from  his  study  accom- 
panied by  Martinon.  She  turned  her  head  and  re- 
sponded to  a  bow  from  Pellerin,  who  was  advancing 
toward  her.  The  artist  gazed  in  a  restless  fashion 
toward  the  walls.  The  banker  took  him  aside,  and 
told  him  that  it  was  desirable  for  the  present  to  con- 
ceal his  revolutionary  picture. 

"  No  doubt,"  said  Pellerin,  the  rebuff  which  he  re- 
ceived at  the  Club  of  Intellect  having  modified  his 

M.  Dambreuse  hinted  very  politely  that  he  would 
give  him  orders  for  other  works. 

"  But  excuse  me.  Ah !  my  dear  friend,  what  a 
pleasure !  " 


Arnoux  and  Madame  Arnoux  stood  before  Fred- 

He  had  a  sort  of  vertigo.  Rosanette  had  been  irri- 
tating him  all  the  afternoon  with  her  display  of  ad- 
miration for  soldiers,  and  the  old  passion  was  re- 

The  steward  announced  that  dinner  was  on  the 
table.  With  a  look  she  directed  the  Vicomte  to  take 
in  Cecile,  while  she  said  in  a  low  tone  to  Martinon, 
"  You  wretch!  "  And  then  they  passed  into  the  din- 

Under  the  green  leaves  of  a  pineapple,  in  the  centre 
of  the  table-cloth,  a  dorado  stood,  with  its  snout  reach- 
inging  toward  a  quarter  of  roebuck  and  its  tail  just 
grazing  a  bushy  dish  of  crayfish.  Figs,  huge  cherries, 
pears,  and  grapes  (the  first  fruits  of  Parisian  culti- 
vation) rose  like  pyramids  in  baskets  of  old  Saxe. 
Here  and  there  a  bunch  of  flowers  mingled  with  the 
shining  silver  plate.  The  white  silk  blinds,  in  front 
of  the  windows,  filled  the  apartment  with  a  mellow 
light.  It  was  cooled  by  two  fountains,  in  which  there 
were  pieces  of  ice ;  and  tall  men-servants,  in  short 
breeches,  waited  on  them.  All  these  luxuries  seemed 
the  more  precious  for  the  emotion  of  the  past  few 
days.  There  was  a  fresh  delight  at  possessing  things 
which  they  had  been  afraid  of  losing ;  and  Nonancourt 
voiced  the  general  sentiment  when  he  said: 

"  Ah !  let  us  hope  that  these  Republican  gentle- 
men will  allow  us  to  dine !  " 

"  In  spite  of  their  fraternity ! "  Pere  Roque  added, 
with  an  attempt  at  wit. 

These  two  personages  were  placed  respectively  at 
the  right  and  at  the  left  of  Madame  Dambreuse,  her 
husband  being  exactly  opposite  her,  between  Madame 
Larsillois,  at  whose  side  was  the  diplomatist  and  the 


old  Duchesse,  whom  Fumichon  elbowed.  Then  came 
the  painter,  the  dealer  in  faience,  and  Mademoiselle 
Louise ;  and,  thanks  to  Martinon,  who  had  carried  her 
chair  to  enable  her  to  take  a  seat  near  Louise,  Fred- 
erick found  himself  beside  Madame  Arnoux. 

She  wore  a  black  barege  gown,  a  gold  hoop  en- 
circled her  wrist,  and,  as  on  the  first  day  that  he  dined 
at  her  house,  there  was  something  red  in  her  hair, 
a  branch  of  fuchsia  twisted  round  her  chignon.  He 
could  not  help  saying: 

"  It  is  a  long  time  since  we  saw  each  other." 

"  Ah  !  "  she  returned  coldly. 

He  continued,  in  a  mild  tone,  which  mitigated  the 
impertinence  of  his  question : 

"Have  you  thought  of  me  now  and  then?" 

"  Why  should  I  think  of  you  ?  " 

Frederick  was  hurt  by  these  words. 

"  You  are   right,  perhaps,  after  all." 

But  very  soon,  regretting  what  he  had  said,  he 
swore  that  he  had  not  lived  a  single  day  without  be- 
ing ravaged  by  the  remembrance  of  her. 

"  I  don't  believe  a  single  word  you  are  saying,  Mon- 

"H  owever,  you  know  that  I  love  you !  " 

Madame  Arnoux  made  no  reply. 

"  You  know  that  I  love  you !  " 

She  still  remained  silent. 

"  Well,  then,  go  be  hanged ! "  said  Frederick  to 

And,  as  he  raised  his  eyes,  he  perceived  Mademoi- 
selle Roque  at  the  other  side  of  Madame  Arnoux. 

She  imagined  it  gave  her  a  coquettish  look  to  dress 
entirely  in  green,  a  colour  which  contrasted  horribly 
with  her  red  hair.  The  buckle  of  her  belt  was  too 
large  and  her  collar  cramped  her  neck.  This  lack 


of  elegance  had,  no  doubt,  contributed  to  the  coldness 
which  Frederick  at  first  displayed  toward  her.  She 
watched  him  from  where  she  sat,  some  distance  away, 
with  curious  glances;  and  Arnoux,  by  her  side,  in 
vain  lavished  his  gallantries — he  could  not  get  her  to 
utter  three  words,  so  that,  finally  abandoning  all  hope 
of  making  himself  agreeable  to  her,  he  listened  to  the 
conversation.  She  now  began  rolling  about  a  slice 
of  Luxembourg  pine-apple  in  her  pea-soup. 

Louis  Blanc,  according  to  Fumichon,  owned  a  large 
house  in  the  Rue  Saint-Dominique,  which  he  refused 
to  let  to  the  workmen. 

"  I  think  it  rather  a  funny  thing,"  said  Nonancourt, 
"  to  see  Ledru-Rollin  hunting  over  the  Crown  lands." 

"  He  owes  twenty  thousand  francs  to  a  goldsmith !  " 
Cisy  interposed,  "  and  'tis  maintained " 

Madame  Dambreuse  interrupted  him. 

"  Ah !  how  nasty  it  is  to  be  getting  hot  about  poli- 
tics !  and  for  such  a  young  man,  too !  fie,  fie !  Pay 
attention  rather  to  your  fair  neighbour !  " 

After  this,  those  who  were  of  a  grave  turn  of  mind 
attacked  the  newspapers.  Arnoux  took  it  on  himself 
to  defend  them.  Frederick  mixed  himself  up  in  the 
discussion,  describing  them  as  commercial  establish- 
ments just  like  any  other  house  of  business.  Those 
who  wrote  for  them  were,  as  a  rule,  imbeciles  or 
humbugs ;  he  led  his  listeners  to  believe  that  he  was 
acquainted  with  journalists,  and  he  combated  with 
sarcasms  his  friend's  generous  sentiments. 

Madame  Arnoux  did  not  realise  that  this  was  said 
through  a  feeling  of  spite  against  her. 

Meanwhile  the  Vicomte  was  torturing  his  brain  in 
the  effort  to  make  a  conquest  of  Mademoiselle  Cecile. 
He  commenced  by  criticising  the  shape  of  the  de- 
canters and  the  graving  of  the  knives,  in  order  to 


show  his  artistic  tastes.  Then  he  talked  about  his 
stable,  his  tailor  and  his  shirtmaker.  Finally,  he  took 
up  the  subject  of  religion,  and  seized  the  opportunity 
of  conveying  to  her  that  he  fulfilled  all  his  duties. 

Martinon  set  to  work  in  a  better  fashion.  With 
his  eyes  fixed  on  her  continually,  he  praised,  in  a 
monotonous  fashion,  her  birdlike  profile,  her  dull  fair 
hair,  and  her  hands,  which  were  unusually  short.  The 
plain-looking  young  girl  was  charmed  at  this  shower 
of  flatteries. 

It  was  impossible  to  hear  anything,  as  all  present 
were  talking  at  the  tops  of  their  voices.  M.  Roque 
wanted  "  an  iron  hand  "  to  govern  France.  Nonan- 
court  regretted  that  the  political  scaffold  was  abol- 
ished. All  these  scoundrels  should  be  put  to  death  to- 

"  Now  that  I  think  of  it,  what  about  Dussardier  ?  " 
said  M.  Dambreuse,  turning  toward  Frederick. 

The  worthy  shopman  was  now  a  hero,  like  Sallesse, 
the  brothers  Jeanson,  the  wife  of  Pequillet,  etc. 

Frederick,  without  waiting  to  be  asked,  related  his 
friend's  history ;  it  threw  around  him  a  kind  of  halo. 

This  naturally  led  to  a  discussion  on  different  traits 
of  courage. 

According  to  the  diplomatist,  it  was  not  hard  to 
face  death,  witness  the  case  of  men  who  fight  duels. 

"  We  might  take  the  Vicomte's  testimony  on  that 
point,"  said  Martinon. 

The  Vicomte's  face  got  very  red. 

The  guests  stared  at  him,  and  Louise,  more  aston- 
ished than  the  rest,  murmured : 

"  What  is  it,  pray  ?  " 

"  He  sank  before  Frederick,"  returned  Arnoux,  in 
a  very  low  tone. 

"  Do  you  know  anything  of  rt,  Mademoiselle  ?  "  said 


Nonancourt  presently,  and  he  repeated  her  answer  to 
Madame  Dambreuse,  who,  bending  forward  a  little, 
fixed  her  gaze  on  Frederick. 

Martinon  did  not  wait  for  Cecile's  questions.  He 
informed  her  that  the  affair  had  reference  to  a  woman 
of  improper  character.  The  young  girl  drew  back 
slightly  in  her  chair,  as  if  to  escape  from  contact 
with  such  a  libertine. 

The  conversation  was  renewed.  The  great  wines  of 
Bordeaux  were  passed  round,  and  the  guests  became 
animated.  Pellerin  had  a  dislike  to  the  Revolution, 
because  he  attributed  to  it  the  loss  of  the  Spanish 

This  is  what  grieved  him  most  as  a  painter. 

As  he  made  the  latter  remark,  M.  Roque  asked: 

"  Are  you  not  yourself  the  painter  of  a  very  nota- 
ble picture?  " 

"Perhaps!    What  is  it?" 

"  It  depicts  a  lady  in  a  costume — faith ! — a  little 
light,  with  a  purse,  and  a  peacock  in  the  background." 

Frederick,  in  his  turn,  reddened.  Pellerin  pre- 
tended that  he  did  not  understand. 

"  Nevertheless,  it  is  certainly  by  you !  For  your 
name  is  written  at  the  bottom  of  it,  and  there  is  also 
a  line  on  it  stating  that  it  is  Monsieur  Moreau's  prop- 

One  day,  when  Pere  Roque  and  his  daughter  were 
waiting  for  him  at  his  residence,  they  saw  the  Mare- 
chale's  portrait.  The  old  gentleman  had  taken  it  for 
"  a  Gothic  painting." 

"  No,"  said  Pellerin  rudely,  "  'tis  a  woman's  por- 

Martinon  added : 

"  And  a  living  woman's,  too,  and  no  mistake !  Isn't 
that  so,  Cisy  ?  " 


"  Oh !  I  know  nothing  about  it." 

"  I  thought  you  were  acquainted  with  her.  But, 
since  it  causes  you  pain,  I  must  beg  a  thousand  par- 
dons !  " 

Cisy  lowered  his  eyes,  proving  by  his  embarrass- 
ment that  he  must  have  played  a  discreditable  part  in 
connection  with  this  portrait.  As  for  Frederick,  the 
model  could  only  be  his  mistress.  It  was  one  of  those 
convictions  which  are  immediately  formed,  and  the 
faces  of  the  assembly  revealed  it  with  the  utmost 

"  How  he  lied  to  me ! "  said  Madame  Arnoux  to 

"  It  is  for  that  woman,  then,  that  he  left  me," 
thought  Louise. 

Frederick  had  an  idea  that  these  two  stories  might 
compromise  him ;  and  when  they  were  in  the  garden, 
he  reproached  Martinon.  Mademoiselle  Cecile's  wooer 
laughed  in  his  face. 

"Oh,  not  at  all!  'twill  benefit  you!     Go  ahead!" 

What  did  he  mean?  Besides,  what  was  the  cause 
of  this  good  nature,  so  contrary  to  his  usual  conduct? 
Without  giving  any  explanation,  he  proceeded  toward 
the  lower  end,  where  the  ladies  were  seated.  The 
men  were  standing  round  them,  and,  in  their  midst, 
Pellerin  was  giving  vent  to  his  ideas.  The  form  of 
government  most  favourable  for  the  arts  was  an  en- 
lightened monarchy.  He  was  disgusted  with  modern 
times,  "  if  it  were  only  on  account  of  the  National 
Guard  " — he  regretted  the  Middle  Ages  and  the  days 
of  Louis  XIV.  M.  Roque  congratulated  him  on  his 
opinions,  acknowledging  that  they  overcame  all  his 
prejudices  against  artists.  But  almost  without  a  mo- 
ment's delay  he  went  off  when  he  heard  the  voice  of 


Arnoux  tried  to  prove  that  there  were  two  Social- 
isms— a  good  and  a  bad.  The  manufacturer  saw  no 
difference  whatever  between  them,  his  head  becoming 
dizzy  with  rage  at  the  utterance  of  the  word  "  prop- 

"  Tis  a  law  written  on  the  face  of  Nature !  Chil- 
dren cling  to  their  toys.  AH  peoples,  all  animals  have 
the  same  instinct.  The  lion  even,  if  he  were  able  to 
speak,  would  declare  himself  a  proprietor!  I  myself, 
messieurs,  began  with  a  capital  of  fifteen  thousand 
francs.  Would  you  be  surprised  to  hear  that  for 
thirty  years  I  used  to  get  up  at  four  o'clock  every 
morning?  I've  had  as  much  pain  as  five  hundred 
devils  in  making  my  fortune !  And  people  want  to 
tell  me  I'm  not  the  master,  that  my  money  is  not  my 
money ;  in  short,  that  property  is  theft !  " 

"  But  Proudhon 

"  Don't  bother  me  with  your  Proudhon !  if  he  were 
here  I  think  I'd  strangle  him !  " 

He  would  have  strangled  him.  After  the  intoxica- 
ting drink  he  had  swallowed  Fumichon  did  not  know 
what  he  was  talking  about  any  longer,  and  his  apoplec- 
tic face  was  on  the  point  of  bursting  like  a  bombshell. 

"  Good  morrow,  Arnoux,"  said  Hussonnet,  who 
was  walking  briskly  over  the  grass. 

He  brought  M.  Dambreuse  the  first  leaf  of  a 
pamphlet,  entitled  The  Hydra,  the  Bohemian  defend- 
ing the  interests  of  a  reactionary  club,  and  in  that  ca- 
pacity he  was  presently  introduced  by  the  banker  to  his 

Hussonnet  amused  them  by  relating  how  the  dealers 

in  tallow  hired  three  hundred  and  ninety-two  street 

boys  to  bawl  out  every  evening  "  Lamps,"  *  and  then 

turning  into  ridicule  the  principles  of  '89,  the  emanci- 

*The  word  may  also  be  translated   "grease-pots.— TRANSLATOR. 


pation  of  the  negroes,  and  the  orators  of  the  Left; 
he  even  went  so  far  as  to  do  Prudhomme  on  a  Barri- 
cade, perhaps  under  the  influence  of  a  kind  of  jeal- 
ousy of  these  rich  people  who  had  enjoyed  a  good 
dinner.  The  caricature  did  not  appeal  to  them.  Their 
faces  grew  long. 

This  was  no  time  for  joking,  so  Nonancourt  ob- 
served, as  he  recalled  the  death  of  Monseigneur  Afire 
and  that  of  General  de  Brea.  These  events  were  being 
constantly  alluded  to,  and  arguments  were  constructed 
out  of  them.  M.  Roque  described  the  archbishop's  end 
as  "  everything  that  one  could  call  sublime."  Fumi- 
chon  gave  the  palm  to  the  military  personage,  and 
instead  of  simply  expressing  regret  for  these  two  mur- 
ders, they  disputed  with  a  view  to  determining  which 
ought  to  excite  the  greatest  indignation.  A  second 
comparison  was  next  instituted,  namely,  between  La- 
moriciere  and  Cavaignac,  M.  Dambreuse  glorifying 
Cavaignac,  and  Nonancourt,  Lamoriciere. 

Not  one  of  those  present,  with  the  exception  of 
Arnoux,  had  ever  seen  either  of  them  engaged  in  the 
exercise  of  his  profession.  None  the  less,  everyone 
spoke  decisively  with  reference  to  their  operations. 

Frederick,  however,  declined  to  express  an  opinion 
on  the  matter,  confessing  that  he  had  not  served  as  a 
soldier.  The  diplomatist  and  M.  Dambreuse  gave  him 
an  approving  nod  of  the  head.  In  fact,  to  have  fought 
against  the  insurrection  was  to  have  defended  the 
Republic.  The  result,  although  favourable,  consoli- 
dated it ;  and  now  they  had  rid  themselves  of  the  van- 
quished, they  wanted  to  be  conquerors. 

As  soon  as  they  got  out  into  the  garden,  Madame 
Dambreuse,  taking  Cisy  aside,  chided  him  for  his  awk- 
wardness. When  she  caught  sight  of  Martinon,  she 
sent  him  away,  and  then  tried  to  find  out  from  her 


future  nephew  the  cause  of  his  witticisms  at  the  Vi- 
comte's  expense. 

"  There's  nothing  of  the  kind." 

"  And  all  this,  as  it  were,  for  the  glory  of  Monsieur 
Moreau.  What  is  the  object  of  it?" 

"  There's  no  object.  Frederick  is  a  delightful  fel- 
low. I  am  very  fond  of  him." 

"  And  so  am  I,  too.  Let  him  come  here.  Go  and 
bring  him !  " 

After  a  few  commonplace  phrases,  she  began  by 
lightly  disparaging  her  guests,  and  in  this  way  she 
placed  him  on  a  higher  level  than  the  others.  He  did 
not  omit  to  sneer  at  the  ladies  more  or  less,  which 
was  an  ingenious  way  of  paying  her  compliments. 
She  left  his  side  from  time  to  time,  as  it  was  a  re- 
ception-night, and  ladies  were  every  moment  arriving; 
then  she  returned  to  her  seat,  and  the  entirely  acci- 
dental arrangement  of  the  chairs  prevented  their  being 

She  was  playful  and  yet  grave,  melancholy  and  yet 
quite  rational.  Her  daily  occupations  interested  her 
very  little — there  were  depths  of  sentiments  of  a  less 
transitory  kind.  She  complained  of  the  poets,  who 
misrepresent  the  facts  of  life,  then  she  raised  her  eyes 
toward  heaven,  asking  him  what  was  the  name  of  a 
certain  star. 

Two  or  three  Chinese  lanterns  had  been  suspended 
from  the  trees;  the  wind  shook  them,  and  lines  of 
coloured  light  quivered  on  her  white  dress.  She  sat 
after  her  usual  style,  a  little  back  in  her  armchair, 
with  a  footstool  in  front  of  her.  The  tip  of  a  black 
satin  shoe  could  be  seen ;  and  at  intervals  Madame 
Dambreuse  allowed  a  louder  word  than  usual,  and 
sometimes  even  a  laugh,  to  escape  her. 

These  coquetries  did  not  disturb  Martinon,  who  was 


occupied  with  Cecile ;  but  they  were  bound  to  make 
an  impression  on  M.  Roque's  daughter,  who  was  chat- 
ting with  Madame  Arnoux.  She  was  the  only  member 
of  her  own  sex  present  whose  manners  were  not  dis- 
dainful. Louise  came  and  sat  beside  her;  then,  yield- 
ing to  the  desire  to  give  an  immediate  vent  to  her 
emotions : 

"  Does  he  not  talk  well — Frederick  Moreau,  I 
mean  ?  " 

"  Do  you  know  him  ?  " 

"  Oh !  very  well !  We  are  neighbours ;  he  used  to 
amuse  himself  with  me  when  I  was  quite  a  little  girl." 

Madame  Arnoux  cast  at  her  a  sidelong  glance, 
which  meant: 

"  I  suppose  you  are  not  in  love  with  him  ?  " 

The  young  girl's  face  replied  with  an  untroubled 

"  Yes." 

"  You  see  him  quite  often,  then  ?  " 

"  Oh,  no !  only  when  he  comes  to  his  mother's  house. 
'Tis  ten  months  now  since  he  was  there.  He  prom- 
ised, however,  to  be  more  particular." 

"  The  promises  of  men  are  not  to  be  too  much  re- 
lied on,  my  child." 

"  But  he  has  never  deceived  me !  " 

"  As  he  has  others !  " 

Louise  shivered :  "  Could  it  be  by  any  chance  that 
he  promised  something  to  her ; "  and  her  features  be- 
came distracted  with  distrust  and  hate. 

Madame  Arnoux  felt  almost  afraid  of  her;  she 
would  have  gladly  withdrawn  what  she  had  said. 
Then  both  became  silent. 

As  Frederick  was  seated  opposite  them  on  a  fold- 
ing-stool, they  kept  looking  at  him,  the  one  with  pro- 
priety out  of  the  corner  of  her  eye,  the  other  boldly, 


with  parted  lips,  so  that  Madame  Dambreuse  said  to 

''  Come,  now,  turn  round,  and  let  her  have  a  good 
look  at  you  !  " 

"  Whom  do  you  mean  ?  " 

"  Why,  Monsieur  Roque's  daughter !  " 

And  she  chaffed  him  on  having  won  the  heart  of 
this  young  girl  from  the  provinces.  He  denied  that 
it  was  so,  and  tried  to  make  a  laugh  of  it. 

"  Is  it  likely,  I  ask  you?  Such  an  ugly  creature 
as  that !  " 

However,  he  experienced  an  intense  feeling  of  grati- 
fied vanity.  He  recalled  to  mind  the  reunion  from 
which  he  had  returned  one  night,  some  time  before, 
his  heart  filled  with  bitter  humiliation,  and  he  drew  a 
long  breath,  for  it  seemed  to  him  that  he  was  now 
in  the  environment  that  really  suited  him ;  he  felt  as  if 
all  these  things,  including  the  Dambreuse  mansion,  be- 
longed to  himself.  The  ladies  formed  a  semicircle 
around  him  while  they  listened  to  what  he  was  saying, 
and  in  order  to  create  an  effect,  he  declared  that  he 
was  in  favor  of  the  reestablishment  of  divorce,  which 
he  maintained  should  be  easily  procurable,  so  as  to 
enable  people  to  leave  one  another  and  come  back  to 
one  another  without  any  limit  and  as  often  as  they 
liked.  They  uttered  loud  protests ;  a  few  of  them  be- 
gan to  talk  in  whispers.  Little  exclamations  every 
now  and  then  burst  forth  from  the  place  where  the 
wall  was  overshadowed  with  aristolochia.  It  sounded 
like  a  mirthful  cackling  of  hens ;  and  he  developed  his 
theory  with  that  self-complacency  which  is  generated 
by  the  consciousness  of  success.  A  man-servant 
brought  into  the  arbour  a  tray  laden  with  ices.  The 
gentlemen  drew  close  together  and  began  to  chat  about 
the  recent  arrests. 


Thereupon  Frederick  revenged  himself  on  the  Vi- 
comte  by  making  him  believe  that  he  might  be  prose- 
cuted as  a  Legitimist.  The  other  urged  by  way  of 
reply  that  he  had  not  stirred  -  outside  his  own  room. 
His  adversary  enumerated  in  a  heap  the  possible  mis- 
chances. MM.  Dambreuse  and  Gremonville  were 
much  amused  at  the  discussion.  Then  they  paid  Fred- 
erick compliments,  expressing  regret  at  the  same  time 
that  he  did  not  employ  his  abilities  in  the  defence  of  or- 
der. They  grasped  his  hand  with  the  utmost  warmth ; 
he  might  for  the  future  count  on  their  support.  At 
last,  just  as  everyone  was  leaving,  the  Vicomte  made  a 
low  bow  to  Cecile : 

"  Mademoiselle,  I  have  the  honour  of  wishing  you  a 
very  good  evening." 

She  replied  coldly: 

"  Good  evening."  But  she  gave  Martinon  a  parting 

Pere  Roque,  desiring  to  continue  his  conversation 
with  Arnoux,  offered  to  see  him  home,  "  as  well  as 
Madame  " — they  were  going  the  same  way.  Louise 
and  Frederick  walked  in  front  of  them.  She  had  taken 
his  arm ;  and,  when  she  was  some  distance  away  from 
the  others  she  said : 

"Ah!,  at  last!  at  last!  I've  had  enough  to  bear  all 
the  evening !  How  nasty  those  women  were !  What 
haughty  airs  they  had !  " 

He  made  an  effort  to  defend  them. 

"  First  of  all,  you  might  certainly  have  spoken  to 
me  the  moment  you  came  in,  after  being  away  a  whole 

"  It  was  not  a  year,"  said  Frederick,  glad  to  be  able 
to  make  some  sort  of  rejoinder  on  this  point  in  order 
to  avoid  the  other  questions. 

"  Be  it  so ;  the  time  appeared  very  long  to  me,  that's 


all.  But,  during-  this  horrid  dinner,  one  would  think 
you  were  ashamed  of  me.  Ah !  I  understand — I  don't 
possess  what  is  necessary  to  please  as  they  do." 

"  You  are  mistaken,"  said  Frederick. 

"  Really !  Swear  to  me  that  you  don't  love  any- 
one else !  " 

He  did  swear. 

"  You  love  nobody  but  me  alone  ?  " 

"  I  assure  you,  I  do  not." 

This  assurance  filled  her  with  delight.  She  would 
have  liked  to  lose  her  way  in  the  streets,  so  that  they 
might  walk  about  together  the  whole  night. 

"  I  have  been  so  much  tormented  down  there ! 
Nothing  was  talked  about  but  barricades.  I  imagined 
I  say  you  lying  on  your  back  covered  with  blood ! 
Your  mother  was  confined  to  her  bed  with  rheumatism. 
She  knew  nothing  about  what  was  happening.  I  had 
to  hold  my  tongue.  I  could  bear  it  no  longer,  so  I 
came  with  Catherine." 

And  she  related  to  him  all  about  her  departure,  her 
journey,  and  the  lie  she  told  her  father. 

"  He's  taking  me  back  in  two  days.  Come  to-mor- 
row evening,  as  if  you  were  merely  paying  a  casual 
visit,  and  take  advantage  of  the  opportunity  to  ask 
for  my  hand  in  marriage." 

Never  had  Frederick  been  further  from  the  idea  of 
marriage.  Besides,  Mademoiselle  Roque  appeared  to 
him  a  rather  absurd  young  person.  How  unlike  she 
was  to  a  woman  like  Madame  Dambreuse !  A  very 
different  future  was  in  store  for  him.  He  had  found 
reason  to-day  to  feel  perfectly  certain  on  that  point ; 
and,  therefore,  this  was  not  the  time  to  involve  himself, 
from  mere  sentimental  motives,  in  a  step  of  such  mo- 
mentous importance.  It  was  necessary  now  to  be  de- 
cisive— and  then  he  had  seen  Madame  Arnoux  again. 


Nevertheless  he  was  rather  embarrassed  by  Louise's 

He  said  in  reply  to  her  last  words : 

"  Have   you   thoroughly    considered   this   matter  ?  " 

"  How  is  that  ?  "  she  exclaimed,  frozen  with  aston- 
ishment and  indignation. 

He  said  that  to  marry  at  such  a  time  as  this  would 
be  absolute  folly. 

"  So  you  don't  want  to  have  me?  " 

"  Nay,  you  don't  understand  me !  " 

And  he  plunged  into  a  confused  mass  of  verbiage 
in  order  to  impress  upon  her  that  he  was  kept  back 
by  serious  considerations ;  that  he  had  business  on 
hand  which  it  would  take  a  long  time  to  dispose  of; 
that  even  his  inheritance  had  been  placed  in  jeopardy 
(Louise  cut  all  this  explanation  short  with  one  plain 
word)  ;  that,  last  of  all,  the  present  political  situation 
made  the  thing  undesirable.  So,  then,  the  most  rea- 
sonable course  was  to  wait  patiently.  Matters  would, 
no  doubt,  right  themselves — at  least,  he  hoped  so; 
and,  as  he  could  think  of  no  further  excuses  to  offer 
just  at  that  moment,  he  pretended  to  have  suddenly 
remembered  that  he  should  have  been  with  Dussar- 
dier  two  hours  ago. 

Then,  bowing  to  the  others,  he  darted  down  the  Rue 
Hauteville,  took  a  turn  round  the  Gymnase,  returned 
to  the  boulevard,  and  quickly  rushed  up  Rosanette's 
four  flights  of  stairs. 

M.  and  Madame  Arnoux  left  Pere  Roque  and  his 
daughter  at  the  entrance  of  the  Rue  Saint-Denis. 
Husband  and  wife  returned  home  without  exchanging 
a  word,  as  he  was  worn  out  and  unable  to  continue 
chattering  any  longer.  She  even  leaned  against  his 
shoulder.  He  was  the  only  man  who  had  displayed 
any  honourable  sentiments  during  the  evening.  She 


entertained  toward  him  feelings  of  the  utmost  indul- 
gence. Meanwhile,  he  cherished  a  certain  degree  of 
spite  against  Frederick. 

"  Did  you  notice  his  face  when  a  question  was  asked 
about  the  portrait?  When  I  told  you  that  he  was 
her  lover,  you  would  not  believe  what  I  said !  " 

"  Oh !  yes,  I  was  wrong !  " 

Arnoux,  gratified  with  his  triumph,  pressed  the  mat- 
ter even  further. 

"  I'd  even  make  a  bet  that  when  he  left  us,  a  little 
while  ago,  he  went  straight  to  see  her.  He's  with 
her  at  this  moment,  you  may  be  sure !  He's  finishing 
the  evening  with  her !  " 

Madame  Arnoux  had  pulled  down  her  hat  very  low. 

"  Why,  you're  trembling  all  over !  " 

"  I  feel  cold !  "  was  her  reply. 

As  soon  as  her  father  was  asleep,  Louise  made  her 
way  into  Catherine's  room,  and  catching  her  by  the 
shoulders,  shook  her. 

"  Get  up — quick,  as  quick  as  ever  you  can !  and  go 
and  fetch  a  cab  for  me !  " 

Catherine  replied  that  there  was  not  one  to  be  had 
at  such  an  hour. 

"Will  you  come  with  me  yourself  there,  then?" 

"Where,  might  I  ask?" 

"  To  Frederick's  house !  " 

"  Impossible  !    Why  do  you  want  to  go  there  ?  " 

It  was  in  order  to  have  a  talk  with  him.  She  could 
not  wait.  She  must  see  him  at  once. 

*'  Just  think  of  what  you're  about  to  do !  To  pre- 
sent yourself  this  way  at  a  house  in  the  middle  of  the 
night !  Besides,  he's  asleep  by  this  time !  " 

"  I'll  wake  him  up !  " 

"  But  this  is  not  a  proper  thing  for  a  young  girl 
to  do !  " 


"  I  am  not  a  young  girl — I'm  his  wife !  I  love  him ! 
Come — put  on  your  shawl !  " 

Catherine,  standing  at  the  side  of  the  bed,  was  try- 
ing to  decide  how  to  act.  She  said  at  last: 

"  No !  I  won't  go !  " 

"  Well,  stay  behind  then!     I'll  go  by  myself!  " 

Louise  glided  like  an  adder  toward  the  staircase. 
Catherine  rushed  after  her,  and  came  up  with  her  on 
the  footpath  outside  the  house.  Her  remonstrances 
were  fruitless ;  so  she  followed  the  girl,  fastening  her 
undervest  as  she  hurried  along  in  the  rear.  The  walk 
appeared  to  her  exceedingly  tedious.  She  complained 
that  her  legs  were  getting  weak  from  age. 

"  I'll  go  on  after  you — faith,  I  haven't  the  same 
thing  to  drive  me  on  that  you  have !  " 

Then  she  softened. 

"  Pool  soul !  You  haven't  anyone  now  but  your 
Catau,  don't  you  see  ?  " 

From  time  to  time  scruples  took  hold  of  her  mind. 

"  Ah,  this  is  a  nice  thing  you're  making  me  do ! 
Suppose  your  father  happened  to  miss  you !  Lord 
God,  let  us  hope  no  misfortune  will  happen ! " 

In  front  of  the  Theatre  des  Varietes,  a  patrol  of 
National  Guards  stopped  them. 

Louise  immediately  explained  that  she  was  going 
with  her  servant  to  look  for  a  doctor  in  the  Rue  Rum- 
fort.  The  patrol  allowed  them  to  pass. 

At  the  corner  of  the  Madeleine  they  met  a  second 
patrol,  and,  Louise  having  given  the  same  explanation, 
one  of  the  National  Guards  asked: 

"Is  it  for  a  nine  months'  ailment,  ducky?" 

"  Oh,  damn  it !  "  exclaimed  the  captain,  "  no  black- 
guardisms in  the  ranks !  Pass  on,  ladies !  " 

Despite  the  captain's  orders,  they  still  kept  cracking 


"  I  wish  you  much  joy !  " 

"  My  respects  to  the  doctor !  " 

"Mind  the  wolf!" 

;<  They  like  laughing,"  Catherine  remarked  in  a  loud 
tone.  "  That's  what  it  is  to  be  young." 

At  length  they  reached  Frederick's  house. 

Louise  gave  the  bell  a  vigorous  pull,  which  she  re- 
peated several  times.  The  door  opened  a  little,  and, 
in  answer  to  her  inquiry,  the  porter  said : 

"  No !  " 

"  But  he  must  be  in  bed !  " 

"  I  tell  you  he's  not.  Why,  for  nearly  three  months 
he  has  not  slept  at  home  !  " 

And  the  little  pane  of  the  lodge  fell  down  sharply, 
like  the  blade  of  a  guillotine. 

They  stood  in  the  darkness  under  the  archway. 

An  angry  voice  cried  out  to  them: 

"Be  off!" 

The  door  was  again  opened ;  they  went  away. 

Louise  sat  down  on  a  boundary-stone;  and  clasp- 
ing her  face  with  her  hands,  she  wept  copious  tears 
welling  up  from  her  full  heart.  The  day  was  break- 
ing, and  market  carts  were  making  their  way  into  the 

Catherine  led  her  back  home,  holding  her  up,  kiss- 
ing her,  and  offering  every  sort  of  consolation  that 
she  could  extract  from  her  own  experience.  Why 
trouble  so  much  about  one  lover?  There  were  plenty 



ROSANETTE  became  more  charming  than  ever 
when  her  enthusiasm  for  the  Gardes  Mobiles 
had  died  down,  and   Frederick  gradually  fell 
into  the  habit  of  living  with  her. 

The  best  part  of  the  day  was  the  morning  on  the 
terrace.  In  a  light  cambric  dress,  and  with  her  stock- 
ingless  feet  thrust  into  slippers,  she  kept  moving  about 
him — cleaned  her  canaries'  cage,  gave  her  gold-fishes 
some  water,  and,  with  a  fire-shovel  did  a  little  amateur 
gardening  in  the  box  filled  with  clay,  from  which  arose 
a  trellis  of  nasturtiums,  brightening  the  wall.  Then, 
resting,  with  their  elbows  on  the  balcony,  they  stood 
side  by  side,  gazing  at  the  vehicles  and  the  passers- 
by;  and  they  basked  in  the  sunlight,  and  made  plans 
for  spending  the  evening.  He  absented  himself  only 
for  two  hours  at  most,  and,  after  that,  they  would  go 
to  some  theatre,  where  they  would  get  seats  near  the 
stage ;  and  Rosanette,  with  a  large  bouquet  of  flowers 
in  her  hand,  would  listen  to  the  instruments,  while 
Frederick,  leaning  close  to  her  ear,  would  tell  her 
comic  or  amatory  stories.  At  other  times  they  would 
drive  in  an  open  carriage  to  the  Bois  de  Boulogne. 
They  walked  about  slowly  until  the  middle  of  the 
night.  At  last  they  made  their  way  home  through  the 
Arc  de  Triomphe  and  the  grand  avenue,  inhaling  the 
breeze,  with  the  stars  above  their  heads,  and  with  all 
the  gas-lamps  ranged  in  the  background  of  the  per- 
spective like  a  double  string  of  luminous  pearls. 


Frederick  always  waited  for  her  when  they  were 
going  out  together.  She  took  a  very  long  time  fas- 
tening the  two  ribbons  of  her  bonnet;  and  she  smiled 
at  herself  in  the  mirror  set  in  the  wardrobe ;  then  she 
would  draw  her  arm  through  his,  and,  making  him 
look  at  himself  in  the  glass  beside  her: 

"  We  look  well  this  way,  the  two  of  us  side  by  side. 
Ah !  my  darling,  I  could  eat  you !  " 

He  was  now  her  chattel,  her  property.  She  wore 
on  her  face  a  continuous  radiance,  while  at  the  same 
time  she  appeared  more  languishing  in  manner,  more 
rounded  in  figure ;  and,  without  being  able  to  explain 
the  difference,  he  found  her  altered. 

One  day  she  informed  him,  as  if  it  were  a  very  im- 
portant bit  of  news,  that  my  lord  Arnoux  had  lately 
set  up  a  linen-draper's  shop  for  a  woman  who  was 
formerly  employed  in  his  pottery-works.  He  used 
to  go  there  every  evening — "  he  spent  a  lot  on  it  no 
later  than  a  week  ago;  he  had  even  given  her  a  set 
of  rosewood  furniture." 

"  How  do  you  know  that  ?  "  said  Frederick. 

"  Oh  !  I'm  'sure  of  it." 

Delphine,  while  carrying  out  some  orders  for  her, 
had  made  enquiries  about  the  matter.  She  must,  then, 
be  much  attached  to  Arnoux  to  take  such  a  deep  in- 
terest in  his  movements.  He  contented  himself  with 
saying  to  her  in  reply: 

"What  does  this  signify  to  you?" 

Rosanette  looked  surprised  at  the  question. 

"  Why,  the  rascal  owes  me  money.  Isn't  it  atro- 
cious to  see  him  supporting  beggars  ?  " 

Then,  with  a  look  of  triumphant  hate  in  her  face: 

"  Besides,  she  is  only  laughing  at  him.  She  has 
three  others  on  hand.  So  much  the  better;  and  I'll 
be  glad  if  she  eats  him  up,  even  to  the  last  farthing !  " 


Arnoux  had,  in  fact,  let  himself  be  used  by  the  girl 
from  Bordeaux  with  the  indulgence  which  charac- 
terises senile  attachments.  His  manufactory  no  longer 
existed.  The  entire  state  of  his  affairs  was  pitiable ;  so 
that,  in  order  to  set  them  afloat  again,  he  projected 
the  establishment  of  a  cafe  chantant,  at  which  only 
patriotic  pieces  would  be  sung.  With  a  grant  from 
the  Minister,  this  establishment  would  become  at  the 
same  time  a  focus  for  the  purpose  of  propagandism 
and  a  source  of  profit.  Now  that  power  had  been  di- 
rected into  a  different  channel,  the  thing  was  impos- 

His  next  idea  was  a  big  military  hat-making  busi- 
ness. He  lacked  capital,  however,  to  open  it. 

He  was  not  more  fortunate  in  his  domestic  life. 
Madame  Arnoux  was  less  agreeable  in  manner  toward 
him,  sometimes  even  a  little  rude.  Berthe  always  took 
her  father's  part.  This  increased  the  discord,  and 
the  house  was  becoming  intolerable.  He  often  set 
forth  in  the  morning,  passed  his  day  in  making  long 
excursions  out  of  the  city,  in  order  to  divert  his 
thoughts,  then  dined  at  a  rustic  tavern,  abandoning 
himself  to  his  reflections. 

The  prolonged  absence  of  Frederick  disturbed  his 
habits.  He  presented  himself  one  afternoon,  begged 
of  him  to  come  and  see  him  as  in  former  days,  and 
obtained  from  him  a  promise  to  do  so. 

Frederick  did  not  feel  sufficient  courage  within  him 
to  go  back  to  Madame  Arnoux's  house.  He  felt  as 
if  he  had  betrayed  her.  But  this  conduct  was  very 
pusillanimous.  There  was  no  excuse  for  it.  There 
was  only  one  way  of  ending  the  matter,  and  so,  one 
evening,  he  set  out  for  her  house. 

As  the  rain  was  falling,  he  had  just  turned  up  the 
Passage  Jouffroy,  when,  under  the  light  shed  from  the 


shop-windows,  a  fat  little  man  accosted  him.  Fred- 
erick had  no  difficulty  in  recognising  Compain,  that 
orator  whose  motion  had  excited  so  much  laughter 
at  the  club.  He  was  leaning  on  the  arm  of  an  indi- 
vidual whose  head  was  muffled  in  a  zouave's  red 
cap,  with  a  very  long  upper  lip,  a  complexion  as  yel- 
low as  an  orange,  a  tuft  of  beard  under  his  jaw,  and 
big  staring  eyes  glistening  with  wonder. 

Compain  seemed  to  be  proud  of  him,  for  he  said  i 

"  Let  me  introduce  you  to  this  jolly  dog !  He  is 
a  bootmaker  whom  I  include  amongst  my  friends. 
Come  and  let  us  take  something !  " 

Frederick  having  thanked  him,  he  immediately  thun- 
dered against  Rateau's  motion,  which  he  described  as 
a  manoeuvre  of  the  aristocrats.  In  order  to  put  an 
end  to  it,  it  would  be  necessary  to  begin  '93  over  again ! 
Then  he  inquired  about  Regimbart  and  some  others, 
who  were  also  well  known,  such  as  Masselin,  Sonson, 
Lecornu,  Marechal,  and  a  certain  Deslauriers,  who 
had  been  inplicated  in  the  case  of  the  carbines  lately 
intercepted  at  Troyes. 

All  this  was  new  to  Frederick.  Compain  knew 
nothing  further  about  the  subject.  He  left  the  young 
man  with  these  words : 

"You'll  come  soon,  will  you  not?  for  you  belong 
to  it." 

"To  what?" 

"The  calf's  head!" 

"What  calf's  head?" 

"  Ha,  you  rogue !  "  returned  Compain,  giving  him 
a  nudge  in  the  ribs. 

And  the  two  terrorists  plunged  into  a  cafe. 

Ten  minutes  later  Frederick  had  forgotten  Deslau- 
riers. He  was  on  the  footpath  of  the  Rue  de  Para- 
dis  in  front  of  a  house ;  and  he  was  staring  at  the 


light  which  came  from  a  lamp  in  the  second  floor  be- 
hind a  curtain. 

At  length  he  ascended  the  stairs. 

"  Is  Arnoux  in  ?  " 

The  chambermaid  answered: 

"  No ;  but  come  in  all  the  same." 

And,  abruptly  opening  a  door : 

"  Madame,  it  is  Monsieur  Moreau !  " 

She  arose,  whiter  than  the  collar  round  her  neck. 

''  To  what  do  I  owe  the  honour — of  a  visit — so  un- 
expected ?  " 

"  Merely  the  pleasure  of  seeing  old  friends  once 

And  as  he  took  a  seat: 

"  How  is  the  worthy  Arnoux  ?  " 

"  Very  well.     He  has  gone  out." 

"  Ah,  I  understand !  still  following  his  old  nightly 
practices.  A  little  distraction !  " 

"  And  why  not  ?  After  a  day  spent  in  making  cal- 
culations, the  head  needs  a  rest." 

She  even  praised  her  husband  as  a  hard-working 
man.  Frederick  was  irritated  at  this  eulogy ;  and 
pointing  toward  a  piece  of  black  cloth  with  a  nar- 
row blue  braid  which  lay  on  her  lap : 

"  What  is  it  you  are  doing  there  ?  " 

"  A  jacket  which  I  am  trimming  for  my  daughter." 

"  Now  that  you  remind  me  of  it,  I  have  not  seen  her. 
Where  is  she,  pray  ?  " 

"  At  a  boarding-school,"  was  the  reply. 

Tears  came  into  her  eyes.  She  held  them  back, 
while  she  rapidly  plied  her  needle.  To  compose  him- 
self, he  took  up  a  number  of  L' Illustration  which  had 
been  lying  on  the  table  close  to  where  she  sat. 

"  These  caricatures  of  Cham  are  very  funny,  are 
they  not  ?  " 


"  Yes." 

Then  they  relapsed  into  silence  once  more. 

All  of  a  sudden  a  fierce  gust  of  wind  shook  the 

"  What  weather !  "  said  Frederick. 

"  It  was  very  good  of  you;  indeed,  to  come  here 
in  the  midst  of  this  dreadful  rain." 

"Oh!  what  do  I  care  about  that?  I'm  not  like 
some,  whom  it  prevents,  no  doubt,  from  keeping  their 

"What  appointments?"  she  asked  ingenuously. 

"  Don't  you  remember?  " 

A  shudder  ran  through  her  frame  and  she  hung 
down  her  head. 

He  gently  laid  his  hand  on  her  arm. 

"  You   have   given   me   great   pain." 

She  replied,  with  a  sort  of  wail  in  her  voice: 

"  But  I  was  frightened  about  my  child." 

She  told  him  about  Eugene's  illness,  and  all  the 
tortures  \vhich  she  had  suffered  on  that  day. 

"  Thanks !  thanks !  I  doubt  you  no  longer.  I  love 
you  as  much  as  ever." 

"  Ah  !  no  ;  that  is  not  true !  " 

"Why  so?" 

She  glanced  at  him  coldly. 

"  You  forget  the  other !  the  one  you  took  with  you 
to  the  races !  the  woman  whose  portrait  you  have — 
your  mistress !  " 

"  Well,  yes !  "  exclaimed  Frederick,  "  I  don't  deny 
anything !  I  am  a  wretch  !  Just  listen  to  me !  " 

He  had  done  this  through  despair,  as  one  commits 
suicide.  However,  he  had  made  her  very  unhappy  in 
order  to  avenge  himself  on  her  with  his  own  shame. 

"  What  mental  anguish !  Do  you  not  realise  what 
it  means  ?  " 


Madame  Arnoux  turned  away  her  beautiful  face 
while  she  held  out  her  hand  to  him;  and  they  closed 
their  eyes,  absorbed  in  an  intoxication  that  was  like 
a  sweet,  ceaseless  rocking.  Then  they  stood  face  to 
face,  gazing  at  each  other. 

"  Could  you  believe  it  possible  that  I  no  longer  loved 
you  ?  " 

She  replied  in  a  low  voice,  full  of  caressing  ten- 
derness : 

"  No !  in  spite  of  everything,  I  felt  at  the  bottom  of 
my  heart  that  it  was  impossible,  and  that  some  day 
the  obstacle  between  us  two  would  be  removed !  " 

"  So  did  I ;  and  I  was  dying  to  see  you  again." 

"  I  once  passed  close  to  you  in  the  Palais-Royal !  " 

"Did  you  really?" 

And  he  spoke  to  her  of  the  happiness  he  experi- 
enced at  meeting  her  again  at  the  Dambreuses'  house. 

"  But  how  I  hated  you  that  evening  as  I  was  leav- 
ing the  place !  " 

"  Poor  boy !  " 

"  My  life  is  so  sad !  " 

"  And  mine,  too.  If  it  were  only  the  vexations,  the 
anxieties,  the  humiliations,  all  that  I  endure  as  wife 
and  as  mother,  seeing  that  one  must  die,  I  would  not 
complain ;  the  frightful  part  of  it  is  my  solitude,  with- 
out anyone." 

"  But  you  have  me  here  with  you !  " 

"Oh!  yes!" 

A  sob  of  deep  emotion  made  her  bosom  swell.  She 
opened  her  arms,  and  they  strained  each  other,  while 
their  lips  met  in  a  long  kiss. 

A  creaking  sound  on  the  floor  not  far  from  them 
reached  their  ears.  There  was  a  woman  standing 
close  to  them;  it  was  Rosanette.  Madame  Arnoux 
recognised  her.  Her  eyes,  opened  to  their  widest, 


scanned  this  woman,  full  of  astonishment  and  in- 
dignation. At  length  Rosanette  said  to  her : 

"  I  have  come  to  see  Monsieur  Arnoux  about  a 
matter  of  business." 

"  You  see  he  is  not  here." 

"  Ah  !  that's  true,"  returned  the  Marechale.  "  Your 
nurse  was  right !  A  thousand  apologies !  " 

And  turning  toward  Frederick: 

"  So  here  you  are — you?  " 

The  familiar  tone  in  which  she  addressed  him,  and 
in  her  own  presence,  too,  made  Madame  Arnoux 
flush  as  if  she  had  received  a  slap  right  across  the  face. 

"  I  tell  you  once  more,  he  is  not  here !  " 

Then  the  Marechale,  who  was  looking  around,  said 
quietly  : 

"  Let  us  go  back  together !  I  have  a  cab  waiting 

He  pretended  not  to  hear. 

"  Come !  let  us  go !  " 

"  Ah  !  yes  !  this  is  a  good  opportunity !  Go !  go !  " 
said  Madame  Arnoux. 

They  left  together,  and  she  stooped  over  the  head 
of  the  stairs  in  order  to  see  them  once  more,  and  a 
laugh — piercing,  heart-rending,  reached  them  from 
the  place  where  she  stood.  Frederick  pushed  Rosa- 
nette into  the  cab,  sat  down  opposite  her,  and  during 
the  entire  drive  did  not  utter  a  word. 

The  infamy,  which  it  outraged  him  to  see  once  more 
flowing  back  on  him,  had  been  occasioned  by  himself 
alone.  He  experienced  at  the  same  time  the  dis- 
honour of  a  crushing  humiliation  and  the  remorse 
caused  by  the  loss  of  his  new-found  happiness.  Just 
when,  at  last,  he  had  it  in  his  grasp,  it  had  for  ever 
more  become  impossible,  and  that  through  the  fault 
of  this  girl  of  the  town,  this  harlot.  He  would  have 


liked  to  strangle  her.  He  was  choking  with  rage. 
When  they  got  into  the  house  he  flung  his  hat  on  a 
piece  of  furniture  and  tore  off  his  cravat. 

"  Ha !  you  have  just  done  a  nice  thing — confess  it !  " 

She  planted  herself  boldly  in  front  of  him. 

"  Well,  what  of  that  ?    Where's  the  harm  ?  " 

"What!     You  are  playing  the  spy  on  me?" 

"  Is  that  my  fault?  Why  do  you  go  to  amuse  your- 
self with  virtuous  women  ?  " 

"  Never  mind !     I  don't  wish  you  to  insult  them." 

"  How  have  I  insulted  them  ?  " 

He  could  not  answer  this,  and  in  a  more  spiteful 
tone : 

"  But  on  the  other  occasion,  at  the  Champ  de 
Mars — 

"  Ah !  you  bore  me  to  death  with  your  old  women !  " 

"  Wretch !  " 

He  raised  his  fist. 

"  Don't  kill  me  !     I'm  pregnant !  " 

Frederick  staggered  back. 

"  You  are  lying !  " 

"  Wny,  just  look  at  me!  " 

She  seized  a  candlestick,  and  pointing  at  her  face : 

"  Don't  you  recognise  the  fact  there  ?  " 

Little  yellow  spots  dotted  her  skin,  which  was 
strangely  swollen.  Frederick  could  not  deny  the  evi- 
dence. He  opened  the  window,  took  a  few  steps  up 
and  down  the  room,  and  then  sank  into  an  armchair. 

This  event  was  a  calamity  which,  in  the  first  place, 
put  off  their  rupture,  and,  in  the  next  place,  upset  all 
his  plans.  The  notion  of  being  a  father,  moreover, 
appeared  to  him  grotesque,  inadmissible.  But  why? 
If,  in  place  of  the  Marechale And  his  reverie  be- 
came so  deep  that  he  had  a  kind  of  hallucination.  He 
could  see,  on  the  carpet,  in  front  of  the  chimney-piece, 


a  little  girl.  She  resembled  Madame  Arnoux  and 
himself  a  little — dark,  and  yet  fair,  with  black  eyes, 
very  thick  eyebrows,  and  a  red  ribbon  in  her  curling 
hair.  (Oh,  how  he  would  have  loved  her!)  And  he 
seemed  to  hear  her  voice  saying :  "  Papa !  papa !  " 

Rosanette,  who  had  just  undressed  herself,  came 
across  to  him,  and  seeing  a  tear  in  his  eyelids,  kissed 
him  gravely  on  the  forehead. 

He  arose,  saying: 

"  By  Jove,  we  mustn't  kill  this  little  one ! " 

Then  she  talked  a  lot  of  nonsense.  To  be  sure,  it 
would  be  a  boy,  and  its  name  would  be  Frederick.  She 
must  begin  making  its  clothes ;  and,  seeing  her  so 
happy,  a  feeling  of  pity  took  possession  of  him.  As 
he  no  longer  cherished  any  anger  against  her,  he  de- 
sired to  know  the  reason  of  the  step  she  had  recently 
taken.  She  said  it  was  because  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz 
had  sent  her  that  day  a  bill  which  had  been  protested 
for  some  time  past ;  and  so  she  hastened  to  Arnoux 
to  get  the  money  from  him. 

"  I'd  have  given  it  to  you !  "  said  Frederick. 

"  It  is  a  simpler  course  for  me  to  get  over  there 
what  belongs  to  me,  and  to  pay  back  to  the  other  one 
her  thousand  francs." 

"Is  that  really  all  you  owe  her?" 

She  answered: 

"  Certainly ! " 

On  the  following  day,  at  nine  o'clock  in  the  evening 
(the  hour  specified  by  the  doorkeeper),  Frederick  re- 
paired to  Mademoiselle  Vatnaz's  residence. 

In  the  anteroom,  he  jostled  against  the  furniture, 
which  was  heaped  together.  But  the  sound  of  voices 
and  of  music  guided  him.  He  opened  a  door,  and 
found  himself  in  the  middle  of  a  rout.  Standing  up 
before  a  piano,  which  a  young  lady  in  spectacles  was 


playing,  Delmar,  as  serious  as  a  pontiff,  was  declaim- 
ing a  humanitarian  poem  on  prostitution ;  and  his  hol- 
low voice  rolled  to  the  accompaniment  of  the  metallic 
chords.  A  row  of  women  sat  close  to  the  wall,  at- 
tired, as  a  rule,  in  dark  colours  without  neckbands  or 
cuffs.  Five  or  six  men,  all  people  of  culture,  occu- 
pied seats  here  and  there.  In  an  armchair  was  seated 
a  former  writer  of  fables,  a  mere  wreck  now ;  and  the 
pungent  odour  of  the  two  lamps  was  intermingled  with 
the  aroma  of  the  chocolate  which  filled  a  number  of 
bowls  placed  on  the  card-table. 

Mademoiselle  Vatnaz,  with  an  Oriental  shawl 
thrown  over  her  shoulders,  was  seated  at  one  side  of 
the  chimney-piece.  Dussardier  faced  her  at  the  other 
side.  He  seemed  to  feel  himself  in  an  embarrassing 
position.  Besides,  he  was  rather  intimidated  by  his 
artistic  surroundings.  Had  the  Vatnaz,  then,  broken 
off  with  Delmar  ?  Perhaps  not.  However,  she  seemed 
jealous  of  the  worthy  shopman ;  and  Frederick,  having 
asked  permission  to  exchange  a  word  with  her,  she 
made  a  sign  to  him  to  go  with  them  into  her  own 
apartment.  When  the  thousand  francs  were  paid,  she 
asked,  in  addition,  for  interest. 

"  'Tisn't  worth  while,"  said  Dussardier. 

"  Pray  hold  your  tongue  !  " 

This  want  of  moral  courage  on  the  part  of  so  brave 
a  man  was  agreeable  to  Frederick  as  a  justification  of 
his  own  conduct.  He  took  away  the  bill  with  him,  and 
never  again  referred  to  the  scandal  at  Madame  Ar- 
noux's  house.  But  from  that  time  forth  he  observed 
clearly  all  the  defects  in  the  Marechale's  character. 

She  had  incurable  bad  taste,  incomprehensible  lazi- 
ness, the  ignorance  of  a  savage,  so  much  so  that  she 
regarded  Dr.  Derogis  as  a  person  of  great  celebrity, 
and  she  felt  proud  of  entertaining  himself  and  his 


wife,  because  they  were  "  married  people."  She  lec- 
tured with  a  pedantic  air  on  the  affairs  of  daily  life 
to  Mademoiselle  Irma,  a  helpless  little  creature  en- 
dowed with  a  weak  voice,  who  had  as  a  protector  a 
gentleman  "  very  well  off,"  an  ex-clerk  in  the  Custom- 
house, who  had  a  rare  talent  for  card  tricks.  Rosa- 
nette  used  to  call  him  "  My  big-  Loulou."  Frederick 
could  no  longer  endure  the  repetition  of  her  stupid 
words,  such  as  "  Some  custard,"  "  To  Chaillot,"  "  One 
could  nevei  know,"  etc. ;  and  she  insisted  on  wiping 
off  the  dust  in  the  morning  from  her  trinkets  with  a 
pair  of  old  white  gloves.  He  was  above  all  disgusted 
by  her  treatment  of  her  servant,  whose  wages  were 
constantly  in  arrears,  and  from  whom  she  even  bor- 
rowed money.  On  the  days  when  they  settled  their 
accounts,  they  used  to  wrangle  like  two  fish-women ; 
and  then,  on  becoming  reconciled,  used  to  embrace 
each  other.  It  was  a  relief  to  him  when  Madame  Dam- 
breuse's  evening  parties  began  again. 

There,  at  any  rate,  he  found  something  to  amuse 
him.  She  was  well  versed  in  the  intrigues  of  society, 
the  changes  of  ambassadors,  the  personal  character 
of  dressmakers;  and,  if  commonplaces  escaped  her 
lips,  they  did  so  in  such  a  becoming  fashion,  that  her 
language  might  be  regarded  as  the  expression  of  re- 
spect for  propriety  or  of  polite  irony.  It  was  interest- 
ing to  watch  the  way  in  which,  in  the  midst  of  twenty 
persons  chatting  around  her,  she  would,  without  ne- 
glecting any  of  them,  bring  about  the  answers  she  de- 
sired and  avoid  those  that  were  dangerous.  Things 
of  a  very  simple  nature,  when  related  by  her,  assumed 
the  aspect  of  confidences.  Her  slightest  smile  gave 
rise  to  dreams ;  in  short,  her  charm,  like  the  exquisite 
scent  which  she  usually  carried  about  with  her,  was 
complex  and  indefinable. 


While  he  was  in  her  presence,  Frederick  experi- 
enced on  each  occasion  the  pleasure  of  a  new  discov- 
ery, nevertheless,  he  always  found  her  equally  serene 
the  next  time  they  met,  like  the  reflection  of  limpid 

But  why  was  there  such  coldness  in  her  manner 
toward  her  niece?  At  times  she  even  darted  strange 
looks  at  her. 

As  soon  as  the  question  of  marriage  was  started, 
she  had  urged  as  an  objection  to  it,  when  discussing 
the  matter  with  M.  Dambreuse,  the  condition  of  "  the 
dear  child's  "  health,  and  had  at  once  taken  her  off 
to  the  baths  of  Balaruc.  On  her  return  fresh  obsta- 
cles were  raised  by  her — that  the  young  man  was  not 
in  a  good  position,  that  this  ardent  passion  did  not 
appear  to  be  a  very  serious  attachment,  and  that  no 
risk  would  be  run  by  waiting.  Martinon  had  replied, 
when  the  suggestion  was  made  to  him,  that  he  would 
wait.  His  conduct  was  sublime.  He  lectured  Fred- 
erick. He  did  more.  He  enlightened  him  as  to  the 
best  method  of  pleasing  Madame  Dambreuse,  even 
giving  him  to  understand  that  he  had  ascertained  from 
the  niece  the  sentiments  of  her  aunt. 

As  for  M.  Dambreuse,  far  from  exhibiting  jealousy, 
he  treated  his  young  friend  with  the  utmost  attention, 
consulted  him  about  different  things,  and  even  ex- 
pressed anxiety  about  his  future,  so  that  one  day, 
when  they  were  talking  about  Pere  Roque,  he  whis- 
pered with  a  sly  air: 

"  You  have  done  well." 

Cecile,  Miss  John,  the  servants  and  the  porter,  every 
one  of  them  exercised  a  fascination  over  him  in  this 
house.  He  came  there  every  evening,  leaving  Rosa- 
nette  for  that  purpose.  Her  approaching  maternity 
rendered  her  graver  in  manner,  and  even  a  little  mel- 


ancholy,  as  if  she  were  troubled  by  anxieties.  To 
every  question  put  to  her  she  replied : 

"  You  are  mistaken ;  I  am  quite  well." 

She  had,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  signed  five  notes  in 
her  previous  transactions,  and  not  having  the  courage 
to  tell  Frederick  after  the  first  had  been  paid,  she  had 
returned  to  the  abode  of  Arnoux,  who  had  promised 
her,  in  writing,  the  third  part  of  his  profits  in  the  light- 
ing of  the  towns  of  Languedoc  by  gas  (a  marvellous 
undertaking!),  while  requesting  her  not  to  make  use 
of  this  letter  at  the  meeting  of  shareholders.  The 
meeting  was  postponed  from  week  to  week. 

Meanwhile  the  Marechale  wanted  money.  She 
would  have  died  sooner  than  ask  Frederick  for  any. 
She  did  not  wish  to  get  it  from  him;  it  would  have 
spoiled  their  love.  He  contributed  a  great  deal  to  the 
household  expenses ;  but  a  little  carriage,  which  he 
hired  by  the  month,  and  other  sacrifices,  which  were 
indispensable  since  he  had  begun  to  visit  the  Dam- 
breuses,  prevented  him  from  doing  more  for  his  mis- 
tress. On  two  or  three  occasions,  when  he  got  back 
to  the  house  at  a  different  hour  from  his  usual  time, 
he  fancied  he  could  see  men's  backs  disappearing  be- 
hind the  door,  and  she  often  went  out  without  saying 
where  she  was  going.  Frederick  did  not  attempt  to 
inquire  minutely  into  these  matters.  One  of  these  days 
he  would  make  up  his  mind  as  to  his  future  course  of 
action.  He  dreamed  of  another  life  which  would  be 
more  amusing  and  more  noble.  It  was  having  such 
an  ideal  before  his  mind  that  rendered  him  indulgent 
toward  the  Dambreuse  mansion. 

It  was  an  establishment  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the 
Rue  de  Poitiers.  There  he  met  the  great  M.  A., 
the  illustrious  B.,  the  profound  C,  the  eloquent  Z., 
the  immense  Y.,  the  old  terrors  of  the  Left  Centre, 


the  paladins  of  the  Right,  the  burgraves  of  the  golden 
mean ;  the  eternal  good  old  men  of  the  comedy.  He 
was  astonished  at  their  abominable  style  of  talking, 
their  meannesses,  their  rancours,  their  dishonesty — all 
these  personages,  after  voting  for  the  Constitution, 
were  now  striving  to  destroy  it;  a-nd  they  got  into  a 
state  of  great  agitation,  and  launched  forth  mani- 
festoes, pamphlets,  and  biographies.  Hussonnet's  bi- 
ography of  Fumichon  was  a  masterpiece.  Nonancourt 
confined  himself  to  the  work  of  propagandism  in  the 
country  districts;  M.  de  Gremonville  worked  up  the 
clergy ;  and  Martinon  brought  together  the  young  men 
of  the  wealthy  class.  Each  exerted  himself  accord- 
ing to  his  resources,  including  Cisy.  With  his 
thoughts  now  all  day  long  absorbed  in  matters  of 
grave  moment,  he  kept  making  excursions  here  and 
there  in  a  cab  in  the  interests  of  the  party. 

M.  Dambreuse,  like  a  barometer,  constantly  gave 
expression  to  its  latest  variation.  Lamartine  could 
not  be  mentioned  without  eliciting  from  this  gentle- 
man the  quotation  of  a  famous  phrase  of  the  man  of 
the  people :  "  Enough  of  poetry !  "  Cavaignac  was, 
from  this  time  forth,  nothing  better  in  his  eyes  than  a 
traitor.  The  President,  whom  he  had  admired  for  a 
period  of  three  months,  was  beginning  to  fall  off  in 
his  esteem  (as  he  did  not  appear  to  exhibit  the  "  nec- 
essary energy  ")  ;  and,  as  he  always  wanted  a  saviour, 
his  gratitude,  since  the  affair  of  the  Conservatoire, 
belonged  to  Changarnier :  "  Thank  God  for  Chan- 
garnier.  .  .  Let  us  place  our  hope  on  Changarnier. 
.  .  .  Oh,  there's  nothing  to  fear  as  long  as  Chan- 
garnier  " 

M.  Thiers  was  lauded,  above  all,  for  his  book 
against  Socialism,  in  which  he  showed  that  he  was 
quite  as  much  of  a  thinker  as  a  writer.  There  was  an 


Immense  laugh  at  Pierre  Leroux,  who  had  quoted 
passages  from  the  philosophers  in  the  Chamber.  Jokes 
were  made  about  the  phalansterian  tail.  The  "  Mar- 
ket of  Ideas  "  came  in  for  a  measure  of  applause, 
and  its  authors  were  compared  to  Aristophanes. 
Frederick  patronised  the  work  as  well  as  the  rest. 

Political  verbiage  and  good  living  had  an  enervating 
effect  on  his  morality.  Mediocre  in  capacity  as  these 
persons  appeared  to  him,  he  felt  proud  of  knowing 
them,  and  internally  longed  for  the  respectability  that 
attached  to  a  wealthy  citizen.  A  mistress  like  Madame 
Dambreuse  would  assure  him  a  position. 

He  set  about  taking  the  necessary  steps  for  achiev- 
ing that  object. 

He  made  it  his  business  to  cross  her  path,  never 
failed  to  greet  her  with  a  bow  in  her  box  at  the  theatre, 
and,  knowing  the  hours  she  went  to  church,  he  would 
plant  himself  behind  a  pillar  in  a  melancholy  attitude. 
There  was  a  continual  interchange  of  little  notes  be- 
tween them  with  regard  to  items  to  which  they  drew 
each  other's  attention,  preparations  for  a  concert,  or 
the  borrowing  of  books  or  reviews.  In  addition  to 
his  visit  each  evening,  he  sometimes  made  a  call  just 
as  the  day  was  closing;  and  he  experienced  a  pro- 
gressive succession  of  pleasures  in  passing  through 
the  large  front  entrance,  through  the  courtyard, 
through  the  anteroom,  and  through  the  two  reception- 
rooms.  Finally,  he  reached  her  boudoir,  which  was  as 
still  as  a  tomb,  as  warm  as  an  alcove,  and  in  which 
one  jostled  against  the  upholstered  edging  of  furni- 
ture in  the  midst  of  numerous  objects  placed  here  and 
there — chiffoniers,  screens,  bowls,  and  trays  made  of 
lacquer,  or  shell,  or  ivory,  or  malachite,  expensive 
trifles,  to  which  fresh  additions  were  frequently  made. 
Amongst  single  specimens  of  these  rarities  might  be 


noticed  three  Etretat  rollers  which  were  used  as  pa- 
per-presses, and  a  Frisian  cap  hung  from  a  Chinese 
folding-screen.  Nevertheless,  all  these  things  har- 
monised, and  one  was  impressed*  by  the  noble  aspect 
of  the  entire  place,  due,  no  doubt,  to  the  loftiness  of 
the  ceiling,  the  richness  of  the  portieres,  and  the  long 
fringes  that  floated  over  the  gold  legs  of  the  stools. 

She  invariably  sat  on  a  little  sofa,  close  to  the  flower- 
stand,  which  garnished  the  recess  of  the  window. 
Frederick,  seating  himself  on  the  edge  of  a  large 
wheeled  ottoman,  addressed  to  her  compliments  of 
the  most  appropriate  kind  that  he  could  conceive ;  and 
she  looked  at  him,  with  her  head  a  little  on  one  side, 
and  a  smile  playing  round  her  mouth. 

He  read  aloud  to  her  poetry,  into  which  he  threw 
his  whole  soul  in  order  to  move  her  and  excite  her 
admiration.  She  would  now  and  then  interrupt  him 
with  a  disparaging  remark  or  a  practical  comment; 
and  their  conversation  relapsed  incessantly  into  the 
eternal  question  of  Love.  They  discussed  the  cir- 
cumstances that  produced  it,  whether  women  felt  it 
more  than  men,  and  what  was  the  difference  of  feel- 
ing between  them.  Frederick  tried  to  express  his 
opinion,  and,  at  the  same  time,  avoid  anything  like 
coarseness  or  insipidity.  This  became  at  length  a 
species  of  contest  between  them,  sometimes  agreeable 
and  at  other  times  tedious. 

While  at  her  side,  he  did  not  experience  that  rav- 
ishment of  his  entire  being  which  drew  him  toward 
Madame  Arnoux,  nor  the  feeling  of  voluptuous  de- 
light with  which  Rosanette  had,  at  first,  inspired  him. 
But  he  felt  a  passion  for  her  as  a  thing  that  was  ab- 
normal and  difficult  of  attainment,  because  she  was  of 
aristocratic  rank,  because  she  was  wealthy,  because 
she  was  a  devotee — imagining  that  she  had  a  delicacy 


of  sentiment  as  rare  as  the  lace  and  the  amulets  she 
wore,  and  instincts  of  modesty  even  in  her  depravity. 

He  made  some  use  of  his  old  passion  for  Madame 
Arnoux,  uttering  in  his  new  flame's  hearing  all  those 
amorous  sentiments  which  the  other  had  caused  him 
to  feel  earnestly,  and  pretending  that  it  was  Madame 
Dambreuse  herself  who  had  occasioned  them.  She 
received  these  avowals  like  one  accustomed  to  such 
things,  and,  without  giving  him  a  formal  repulse,  did 
not  yield  in  the  slightest  degree;  and  he  came  no 
nearer  to  seducing  her  than  Martinon  did  to  being 
married.  In  order  to  end  matters  with  her  niece's 
suitor,  she  accused  him  of  having  money  for  his  ob- 
ject, and  even  begged  of  her  husband  to  put  the  young 
man  to  the  test.  M.  Dambreuse  then  declared  to  him 
that  Cecile,  being  the  orphan  child  of  poor  parents, 
had  neither  expectations  nor  a  dowry. 

Martinon,  not  believing  this,  or  feeling  that  he  had 
gone  too  far  to  draw  back,  or  through  one  of  those 
outbursts  of  idiotic  infatuation  which  may  be  described 
as  acts  of  genius,  replied  that  his  patrimony,  amount- 
ing to  fifteen  thousand  francs  a  year,  would  be  suffi- 
cient for  both  of  them.  The  banker  was  touched  by 
this  unexpected  display  of  disinterestedness.  He 
promised  the  young  man  a  tax-collectorship,  under- 
taking to  obtain  the  post  for  him;  and  in  the  month 
of  May,  1850,  Martinon  married  Mademoiselle  Cecile. 
There  was  no  ball  to  celebrate  the  event.  The  young 
people  left  the  same  evening  for  Italy.  Frederick 
came  next  day  to  visit  Madame  Dambreuse.  She  ap- 
peared to  him  paler  than  usual.  She  sharply  contra- 
dicted him  about  several  matters  of  no  importance. 
However,  she  observed,  all  men  were  egoists. 

There  were,  however,  some  devoted  men,  though 
he  might  happen  himself  to  be  the  only  one. 


"  Pooh,  pooh!  you're  just  like  the  rest  of  them!" 

Her  eyelids  were  red ;  she  had  been  weeping. 

Then,  forcing  a  smile : 

"  Pardon  me ;  1  am  in  the  wrong.  Sad  thoughts 
have  taken  possession  of  my  mind." 

He  could  not  understand  what  she  meant  to  con- 
vey by  the  last  words. 

"  No  matter !  she  is  not  so  difficult  to  overcome  as 
I  imagined,"  he  thought. 

She  rang  for  a  glass  of  water,  drank  a  mouthful, 
sent  it  away  again,  and  then  began  to  complain  of 
the  wretched  way  in  which  her  servant  attended  on 
her.  In  order  to  amuse  her,  he  offered  to  become  her 
servant  himself,  pretending  that  he  knew  how  to  hand 
round  plates,  dust  furniture,  and  announce  visitors — 
in  fact,  to  do  the  duties  of  a  valet-de-chambre,  or, 
rather,  of  a  running-footman,  although  the  latter  was 
now  out  of  fashion.  He  would  be  charmed  to  cling 
on  behind  her  carriage  wearing  a  hat  adorned  with 
cock's  feathers. 

"  And  how  I  would  follow  you  with  majestic  stride, 
carrying  your  pug  on  my  arm !  " 

"  You  are  facetious,"  said  Madame  Dambreuse. 

Was  it  not  folly,  he  returned,  to  take  everything 
seriously?  There  were  enough  miseries  in  the  world 
without  creating  fresh  ones.  Nothing  was  worth  the 
cost  of  a  single  pang.  Madame  Dambreuse  raised  her 
eyes  with  a  sort  of  vague  appproval. 

This  agreement  in  their  views  of  life  encouraged 
Frederick  to  take  a  bolder  course.  His  former  mis- 
calculations now  gave  him  insight.  He  went  on: 

"  Our  grandsires  lived  better.  Why  not  obey  the 
impulse  that  urges  us  onward?  After  all,  love  is 
not  of  such  importance  in  itself." 

"  But  that  is  immoral !  " 


She  had  resumed  her  seat  on  the  little  sofa.  He 
sat  at  the  side  of  it,  near  her  feet. 

"  Don't  you  see  that  I  am  lying?  For  in  order  to 
please  women,  one  must  exhibit  the  thoughtlessness 
of  a  buffoon  or  all  the  wild  passion  of  tragedy !  They 
only  laugh  at  us  when  we  simply  tell  them  that  we 
love  them !  For  my  part.  I  consider  those  hyperboli- 
cal phrases  which  tickle  their  fancy  a  profanation  of 
true  love,  so  that  it  is  no  longer  possible  to  thus  ex- 
press oneself,  especially  when  addressing  women  who 
possess  more  than  ordinary  intelligence." 

She  gazed  at  him  from  under  her  drooping  eyelids. 
He  lowered  his  voice,  while  he  bent  his  head  closer  to 
her  face. 

"  Yes !  you  frighten  me !  Perhaps  I  am  offending 
you?  Forgive  me!  I  did  not  intend  to  say  all  that 
I  have  said !  'Tis  not  my  fault !  You  are  so  beauti- 
ful !  " 

Madame  Dambreuse  closed  her  eyes,  and  he  was 
astonished  at  his  easy  victory.  The  tall  trees  in  the 
garden  ceased  their  gentle  quivering.  Motionless 
clouds  streaked  the  sky  with  long  strips  of  red,  and 
on  every  side  there  seemed  to  be  a  suspension  of  vital 
movements.  Then  he  recalled  to  mind,  in  a  confused 
sort  of  way,  evenings  like  this,  filled  with  the  same  un- 
broken silence.  Where  was  it  that  he  had  known 

He  sank  upon  his  knees,  seized  her  hand,  and  s\vore 
that  he  would  love  her  for  ever.  Then,  as  he  was  leav- 
ing, she  beckoned  to  him  to  come  back,  and  said  to 
him  in  a  low  tone: 

"  Come  by-and-by  and  dine  with  us !  We  shall  be 
all  alone." 

It  seemed  to  Frederick,  as  he  descended  the  stairs, 
that  he  had  become  a  different  man,  that  he  was  surT 


rounded  by  the  balmy  temperature  of  hot-houses,  and 
that  he  was  now  entering  into  the  higher  sphere  of 
patrician  adulteries  and  lofty  intrigues.  In  order  to 
occupy  the  first  rank  there  all  he  required  was  a 
woman  of  this  stamp.  Greedy,  no  doubt,  of  power 
and  of  success,  and  married  to  a  man  of  inferior  cal- 
ibre, for  whom  she  had  done  prodigious  services,  she 
longed  for  some  one  of  ability  to  guide.  Nothing  was 
impossible  now.  He  felt  himself  capable  of  riding 
two  hundred  leagues  on  horseback,  of  travelling  for 
several  nights  in  succession  without  fatigue.  His 
heart  overflowed  with  pride. 

Just  in  front  of  him,  on  the  footpath,  a  man 
wrapped  in  a  seedy  overcoat  was  walking  with  down- 
cast eyes,  and  w'ith  such  an  air  of  dejection  that  Fred- 
erick, as  he  passed,  turned  to  have  a  better  look  at  him. 
The  other  raised  his  head.  It  was  Deslauriers.  He 
hesitated.  Frederick  fell  upon  his  neck. 

"  Ah !  my  poor  old  friend !    'Tis  you  !  " 

And  he  dragged  Deslauriers  into  his  house,  at  the 
same  time  asking  him  a  heap  of  questions. 

Ledru-Rollin's  ex-commissioner  began  by  describing 
the  tortures  to  which  he  had  been  subjected.  As  he 
preached  fraternity  to  the  Conservatives,  and  respect 
for  the  laws  to  the  Socialists,  the  former  tried  to  shoot 
him,  and  the  latter  brought  cords  to  hang  him  with. 
After  June  he  had  been  brutally  dismissed.  He  found 
himself  involved  in  a  charge  of  conspiracy — that  which 
was  connected  with  the  seizure  of  arms  at  Troyes.  He 
had  subsequently  been  released  for  want  of  evidence 
to  sustain  the  charge.  Then  the  acting  committee  had 
sent  him  to  London,  where  his  ears  had  been  boxed 
during  a  banquet  at  which  he  and  his  colleagues  were 
being  entertained.  On  his  return  to  Paris 

"  Why  did  you  not  call  here,  then,  to  see  me  ?  " 


"  You  were  always  out !  Your  porter  had  myste- 
rious airs — I  did  not  know  what  to  think;  and,  then, 
I  had  no  desire  to  reappear  before  you  in  the  charac- 
ter of  a  defeated  man." 

He  had  knocked  at  the  portals  of  Democracy,  offer- 
ing to  serve  it  with  his  pen,  with  his  tongue,  with  all 
his  energies.  He  had  been  everywhere  repelled.  They 
had  mistrusted  him.  He  had  sold  his  watch,  his  book- 
case, and  even  his  linen. 

"  It  would  be  better  to  be  breaking  one's  back  on 
the  pontoons  of  Belle  Isle  with  Senecal !  " 

Frederick,  who  had  been  fastening  his  cravat,  did 
not  appear  to  be  much  affected  by  this  news. 

"Ha!  so  he  is  transported,  this  good  Senecal?" 

Deslauriers  replied,  while  he  surveyed  the  walls 
with  an  envious  air: 

"  Not  everybody  has  your  luck !  " 

"  Excuse  me,"  said  Frederick,  without  noticing  the 
allusion  to  his  own  circumstances,  "  but  I  am  dining 
in  the  city.  You  must  have  something  to  eat;  order 
whatever  you  like.  Take  even  my  bed !  " 

This  cordial  reception  dissipated  D